In 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ study on veteran suicide concluded that 22 veterans a day take their own lives. That’s 8,030 veterans annually. This is a shocking number that many find hard to believe, but together we can stop veteran suicide.
If we are going to successfully stop veteran suicide we have to address the issues that are at the root of the problem. These issues include:
- Survivor’s guilt
- Self-blame for mission failure
- Impaired thinking caused by alcohol or substance abuse
- An Altered worldview due to PTSD
- Traumatic brain injury
How we started
I Joined the marines in 2006 and became an Infantry Machine Gunner. During my time in the Corps I went on multiple deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan most notable was the Sangin Valley in 2011. I Guided Marines in a Combined Anti-Armor Team during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. When I left the Corps I was looking for a new beginning something that I could look forward too. In May of 2015 I took the job as a greenhorn deckhand on Tim’s salmon seiner the Johnnie B. Ketchikan was where I grew up and graduated high school. The town is very familiar to me but it had been such a long time since I had been home. The job was something that I had never done before and I felt great about the the exciting challenge.
I remember on one of our trips out to the fishing grounds we left a little later in the evening in order to arrive at our spot with plenty of time before fishing the next morning. Leaving the Ketchikan harbor at sunset is one of the most beautiful sights you can see. All of a sudden I started feeling like I was human again. After that it became easier and easier to see and appreciate the beauty that was surrounding me. I don’t think I had ever seen my hometown in such a profound way. I started to think how the war had robbed me of my ability to see things that were beautiful, or feel anything for anyone close to me. This magical place started to chip away at the armor I had built up for so many years. I knew that this was my new purpose, my new challenge to all who have served and suffered. I was going to bring my brothers and sisters in arms, dealing with similar issues that I deal with, up to Alaska to share this experience. My goal is to help break down barriers and allow our finest warriors to live life as it was intended.
Short-Intermediate Term Goal
- Our goal is to sponsor an annual trip to Ketchikan, Alaska for as many Veterans as we can support. Our hope is to fully cover all costs for each of our guests, but we can only do this with your help.
Long Term Goal
It is our goal to eventually raise enough funds to build a state of the art lodge in South East Alaska, with the sole function of providing a permanent venue where wounded veterans can enjoy the therapeutic beauty of Alaska.