Remember the ’22’ as We Approach Veteran’s Day
On Wednesday, November 11, the nation will observe Veterans Day all across the country.
For some, it will be a day to remember and for others, a day to forget. PTSD is all around us, yet we often forget about those who are going through the struggle. Mental health is everything and for our soldiers who are currently serving or who have served, their mental state can be weakened and they may need a helping hand from time to time.
Statistics show that each and every day, 22 soldiers lose the battle within and are taken from us all too soon through the tragedy of suicide.
These are unprecedentedly confusing times that are playing a huge role in military PTSD. Without the ability to gather in large groups to catch up over a beer and discuss the things that are bothering them, our men and women who have signed on to potentially make the ultimate sacrifice are left alone and separated from society.
For the last five years, I've helped out and been a part of the local Mission 22 chapter in the New Bedford area to take on the burdens our veteran community is suffering from and lifting as much weight off them as possible, just by getting together and assuring them that it's ok to not be ok. It's a motto that should be repeated daily, regardless of who you are, what you do, or where you're from.
Twenty-two pushups per day raise awareness and pay tribute to those who are no longer with us as a result of a fight they couldn't overcome.
Last year around this time, I joined up with a couple of guys who ran 500 miles from the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne to the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. On their final day, I flew down to the last checkpoint to run the remaining 32 miles from Maryland to D.C. Long story short, it was a day I'll never forget. My feet ached and my legs were weak, but if running to raise awareness meant going through pain that is far less than the mental struggle out veterans are facing, then I knew that the mission had to be accomplished.
And 500 miles later, word spread like wildfire across national networks of our plight to get the word out. Our brothers and sisters need us more than ever, so that's where we come in, even if it means running the distance.
Just be kind to anyone and everyone you encounter each day; you truly don't know what people are going through internally. Keep an open mind and be the crutch for those who need someone to lean on. Thank a veteran every once in a while; you'll be surprised at how much a couple of words means to someone going through hell and back all over again.
Again, 22 pushups a day, that's all it takes to show a veteran or someone who is currently active and serving that you're there for them. Less than 60 seconds a day can make all the difference.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with PTSD, please reach out. Holding it in is only going to make matters worse. Call a friend, call a family member, call me. I'd be happy to chat, any time, any day.
No one deserves to be left in the dark.
And if you need help, call (800)-273-8255 (Press 1), text 838255, call 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency room.