When words fail music speaks

  • Published
  • By Glenn S. Robertson
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Suicide claims hundreds of service members and veterans every year.

While many would say that something needs to be done about the epidemic of servicemembers and veterans taking their own lives, the problem can feel so immense that any effort to help combat it seem insufficient.

Despite that challenge, one team from units across the 90th Missile Wing came together and turned to music in an effort to show people that no matter how dark it gets, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – help is available and there are people who care.

To help those who may be considering that step, Senior Airman Ronald Merritt and “Ty” Warner penned and recorded “No one Answers,” a heartfelt call to action for anyone struggling with depression. They also performed the track at the monthly chapel luncheon Sept. 13, 2023, at the Chapel Activities Center on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

The song opens to Staff Sgt. Sharon Zayzay’s character pouring out the emotional struggle of loneliness and hopelessness in the first verse with imagery of darkness creeping in, to flow into Merritt’s dark performance of an unwanted voice reaching out to her to let go and end the struggle. The song then moves into Warner’s spoken word verse, reaching out and reminding Zayzay’s character that there are people next to her wanting to help her get through what she’s going through. The last verse opens into a more hopeful recovery, acknowledging that the darkness will retreat.

It can be difficult for individuals to talk about the pains that they’re struggling with and is part of why Warner feels so strongly about the idea that “when words fail, music speaks,” and he believes that it has the power to help those in need.

“It’s [the song is] really an overall generic push for resiliency,” Warner said. “Hopefully, it could become an anthem.”

As with many creative efforts, “No one Answers” was borne from a personal experience, in this case, Merritt’s. Contact between he and his friend had become less frequent when he left for military service, but during one of those infrequent conversations, his friend confided that she had been having a hard time and had actually gone so far as to stand on a train track and waited for a train. Something called her off from her decision and she did not go through with the act, but what could have been haunts Merritt and drove him to coauthor the song.

“[She] could have been gone and I wouldn’t have known until maybe even months after,” said Merritt. “She told me that she didn’t want to burden me with what she was going through. Also, when she did reach out to other people for help, she said that no one answered.”

Even if the challenge seems insurmountable, no effort is too small when it comes to helping those struggling with thoughts of suicide, and the team recording this song for public use is one where four people brought together their talents and ability to try and help those in need.

“Being in the military, I believe that suicide is a topic that can never be overemphasized. This is our own small way of lending a hand to people who may be going through a hard time, be it mentally, physically or spiritually,” said Zayzay. “If this message reaches and affects one person, then our work is accomplished.”

Merritt echoed the sentiment, with the hope that his words might break through to someone suffering.

“I just wanted [the song] to reach out to someone who does relate and let them know that someone else knows what it’s like,” said Merritt. “They need to know that they’re not alone.”

In another connection to the larger military family touched by suicide, the song was also produced in Cheyenne by military dependent Bobby Phillipps, whose brother took his life five years ago. “No one Answers” can be found on streaming services.



No one answers when I call
I feel afraid when darkness falls
Sun sets in my empty room
Morning won’t be coming soon

My conscience is trying not to care
Hope’s all I’ve got but it’s never there
To take my home, when I’m all alone
When midnight comes to call

I wonder if it’s all my fault
Scream in my pillow but my voice gets lost
I look in the corner there’s a shadow standing by my bed
And it said


Don’t you worry your pretty heart
I’ll make sure that it doesn’t hurt just
Put your faith in me darling why won’t you let go?
It’s OK if you give up now
Take that step let me show you how
It’s nothing new for me I’ve seen this so many times before


Nothings as bad as what you want to do
We’re standing beside you to help you get through
The hurt that you feeling will fade over time
Take a step back and see how you make the world shine


I’ve been done for quite a while
I felt like this since I was a child
It’s not like I’ve been living in denial
I’ve just lost my smile

I know what I’ll lose if I do Give in
And all the regrets of what might have been
And all of the beautiful moments life has in store

Now you answer when I call
I’m not afraid when darkness falls
Sunshine fills my empty room
Morning will be coming soon