Running for Veteran Suicide Awareness
Shortly after completing basic training, my mother's oldest brother, my uncle, committed suicide. He was 23.
He was inspired to join the ARMY because his father, my grandfather, had a thirty-year career in the ARMY, even volunteering for three tours in Vietnam. My mother tells the story of watching her father struggling to stand and give a wobbly, white-gloved salute to his son’s casket while TAPS played.
I was eighteen months old when my grandfather committed suicide, three years after my uncle, his oldest son.
The tragedy of these suicides has affected me, and my family's lives beyond measure.
But sadly, we are just one of thousands of families affected by veteran suicide every year.
Veteran rates of suicide are 1.5 times higher than civilian rates.
Since 2006 there has been an 86% increase in veteran suicide rates.
On average, almost 20 veterans die by suicide every day.
In honor of my grandfather, my uncle, my surviving veteran family members, and all families affected by veteran suicide I will be running in the NYC marathon and raising funds in support of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS provides direct support to families who have been impacted by a death in the military regardless of geography or circumstance.
The funds I raise will flow directly into TAPS programming which supports these families through an amazing network of resources, seminars, and publications. TAPS provides these services at no charge to survivors from all branches of the service, including Reserves and National Guard. TAPS’ programs and services are available not only for immediate family, but also for extended family and friends. Please help me honor our fallen heroes by supporting me in this effort. No donation is too big or too small.
Thank you in advance!
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