BENEFITING: Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America Inc
WE DID IT!!! Seven Army Officers, started and FINISHED the Leadville Marathon...as a TEAM! Thank you to everyone who has supported us and continues to support us in our fight to END VETERAN SUICIDE. We are in the final stretch of our fundraising efforts. Thank y'all again! BOOM OR BUST!!!
Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.
Every day, twenty-two veterans take their own lives. This sensational number is not a new statistic and unfortunately, is not improving. On June 20th, 2015, I will be running the Leadville Marathon to raise money for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), one of the organizations working to bring that number down to zero. In order to achieve this objective, I am choosing to share my own story in order to help raise awareness and help support the ongoing fight against veteran suicide.
About a year ago, I was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression NOS as a result of my deployment in 2012. My prognosis continues to improve (originally I was given the diagnosis of mild Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) but the road to recovery has been long and filled with interesting setbacks. Since returning in December 2012, I struggled immensely with emotions that I did not understand. Some days were fine while others were truly unbearable. I wore a smile on my face despite the pain and frustration I felt of not being able to think clearly and have loving feelings for my family or myself. I felt extreme guilt for returning home when two of my brothers didn’t. I felt extreme frustration from watching good men that I loved leave the brotherhood of Alpha Company or those still present unable to get the help that they needed. I found that when I stayed busy, I was able to keep thoughts of suicide, my demons, at bay. But many nights, I found myself unable to sleep, unable to escape these demons as they gained a greater hold on me. I felt like I had no one that understood me, and I felt broken and worthless. Many days, I fought to remember why it was even worth living.
When I arrived at JBLM, I was lucky enough to finally be matched with a provider who helped me start making sense of my emotions. After multiple misdiagnoses and many months of emotional turmoil, things slowly started to make sense again. It was not long after this breakthrough that I got talked into running the Leadville Marathon, despite swearing I would never run a marathon in my life. However, something took root, and the outrageous goal of completing America’s highest marathon has helped me realize a true sense of purpose through all these struggles. I want to bring this number down to zero and I need your help. Organizations like IAVA raise awareness and provide the resources for struggling veterans to get the help they need. Every contribution helps wage the war against veteran suicide. I am well on my way to becoming the best version of myself, and I fully understand the impact of what a difference a fresh start can make. Twenty-two lives lost a day is twenty-two lives too many. Please join the fight with me and IAVA as we strive to make a better future for all of us.