Tag Archives: Veterans

Can you spare $1?

Can you spare $1?

We have all seen the signs being held on the street corner, they say things like, “will work for food” or “homeless anything helps.”

I am not holding a sign on the street corner, but today I am asking for your help for a cause that is near and dear to my heart, veteran suicide.

On the 29th of this month I will leave Texas to make my way to Kentucky for a four day march (covering 139 miles) between Fort Campbell and Fort Knox starting on the 31st of March at 6pm and ending on the 3rd of April at 4pm.

My goal for this event is to walk for at least 22 hours (one hour for every veteran who commits suicide in a single day) and to raise at least $500 in monetary support for struggling veterans.

All donations will go to the Active Heroes organization to assist veterans and families in need and specifically, fight the epidemic of veteran suicide that claims 22 lives every day.

More often than not, one of the greatest struggles that veterans face is ourselves. We often struggle with our experiences, not having a great way of dealing with the trauma, and being too ashamed of the thoughts we have. So ashamed in fact, that we often cannot even bring ourselves to share our inner battles with our spouses, closest friends, and family.

This cause is so important to me because I have lost a friend to suicide during our third combat deployment. My friend Scott shot himself in the head one afternoon (about two weeks before we were coming home) because he thought he was out of options. If it wasn’t bad enough, I was the medic on duty and went to find my friend’s lifeless body laying on the ground in the back corner of our forward operating base.

I also have several friends who I have served with that have, and continue to, suffer with the scars and trauma of combat and service to our great nation.

In addition to the loss of my friend, suicidal ideations are something that I have struggled with over the last decade. Happily, I can say that I am doing better now than I have been over the last ten years but it does not erase the fight that I have fought within myself and the horrible thoughts that have plagued me. This is especially difficult because the whole time this has happened, I have been surrounded by people who love me. The struggle is so great, that this fact goes almost unnoticed. At least it did for me.

That's me in the middle.
That’s me in the middle (Muqdadiyah, Iraq in 2006).

I understand that it may not be possible for everyone to support this cause monetarily. If you are not in a position to donate financially, you can still help. I would ask that you consider:

  • First and foremost, praying for the thousands of veterans in the United States that struggle from experiences at home and abroad that lead to feelings of hopelessness. This is the war that most people do not know is being fought on a daily basis.
  • Sharing this cause with others who may be in a position to help or could benefit from knowing that there are resources available.
  • Supporting us in prayer as we travel across the state of Kentucky from March 31 to April 3.
  • Donating your time to a local veteran or veteran organization to let them know that you are there to provide support.

Even if you donate financially, I would still ask that you still consider the options above.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your support over the last few years. This blog has been therapeutic for me and your interest in what I have shared means so much.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and considering how you can best support the effort to end veteran suicide.

God Bless!

-Tom

You can donate by clicking on the graphic below.

Veterans Day 2012

Today is Veterans Day 2012! I would just like to take the chance to thank all those that I have served with, those that have served before us, and those who continue to serve our great country.

The 101st Airborne Division – My Home Sweet Home (In A Past Life Anyway)

For those who have family members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, that sacrifice will never be forgotten and I personally will never be able to express my gratitude for such sacrifice.

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. ~Albert Einstein

I hope that all of those veterans out there had a great Veterans Day! Don’t ever forget that there doesn’t have to be a specific day or moment specified to express your gratitude. There is never a bad time to say thank you to a veteran for standing up and defending the interests of the United States and Americans everywhere.