Danger Close Paracord Raises Funds for Vets Through Jewelry

The colorful bracelets, made by Army vet Keith Cochran, are made from paracord and spent bullet casings.

Bracelets in every color of the rainbow are affixed with bullet shells on the ends. The bright and bendable, one-size-fits-all bracelets are handmade using paracord, copper and spent bullet casings by twenty-five-year retired Army veteran Keith Cochran, who founded Danger Close Paracord.

Not only do the bracelets raise money for the nonprofit veterans’ organization, 22Kill, but making them is also a form of therapy for Cochran. He first created them out of his own bullets to raise funds for functions for the families of soldiers involved in a family readiness group that was connected to his unit. Now, a portion of the proceeds help support 22Kill, an organization that brings awareness to suicide prevention for military veterans.

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Keith Cochran creates bracelets out of paracord and spent bullet casings. Photography by Wolf Matthewson.

It’s a cause that’s important to Cochran, as several soldiers have been lost to suicide in Rhode Island and many across the nation. Cochran was deployed four times; to Bosnia in 2000, Iraq in 2003 and 2007, and Afghanistan in 2012, and like many soldiers returning home, he suffers from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While he also has a full-time job, making the bracelets during his free time helps put his mind and body at ease. “I am making bracelets and not thinking about the would haves, the should haves and the what ifs that affect me,” Cochran says. “I have my things that I deal with. This is a good way for me not to have to deal with those things. I am busy, and my mind is busy.”

The bracelets come in almost every color combo imaginable, using paracord sourced from R and W Rope in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and spent bullets that have been tumbled and cleaned. They can represent favorite sports teams, passionate causes or simply spotlight favorite colors.

“I don’t think people even realize that buying a bracelet from me is more of a gift to me — like a hug — than it is for them to give the bracelet as a gift,” he says. “My hope is to inspire other veterans and encourage them to do something they are passionate about that will help them heal as well.”

Danger Close Paracord will have a booth at Federal Hill’s Columbus Day Festival, taking place October 12-14 along Atwells Avenue in Providence. dangercloseparacord.com

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Photography by Wolf Matthewson.

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