Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Veterans to bring mental health awareness

Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017

The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689 are planning a fundraiser to bring awareness to the challenges facing veterans when they return home from war. Veterans come home needing a job, facing family relationships and fitting back into society. The fundraiser, known as “Walk, Run, Skip and Crawl,” will take place on Saturday, June 17 at 3 p.m. at Kriegbaum Field.

Records show that 22 veterans take their own lives each day due to these struggles. Many veterans returning from war have seen so much death, and have depression and other mental health issues. The VFW Post 2689 wants to help veterans by bringing awareness to these issues. Rich Sutton, Post 2689 quartermaster, came up with the idea for “Walk, Run, Skip and Crawl,” which is an obstacle course where the community is invited to participate for 22 minutes. Those attending who do not wish to participate can just watch the activities.

Huntington County has approximately 3,000 living veterans and 3,500 deceased. Those struggling with mental health issues need to contact their veterans’ affairs officer, and are then recommended to the Bowen Center or the Veterans Affairs hospitals in Marion or Fort Wayne.

Mike Harrell, Post 2689 commander, is encouraging the community to get involved. “We want the community to know we are trying to help the veterans and get the awareness out about veterans committing suicide.”

Registration for the fundraiser begins at 2 p.m. and the cost is $5. The colors will be presented and the shooting of a cannon will start the event. Hot dogs and beverages will be available for those in attendance. There will also be T-shirts that say “We Love Our Veterans” for $15. For more information on the event, contact Sutton at (260) 224-4887 or Rick Stell at (260) 358-6735.

If you are unable to attend but would like to send a donation of any size, please send your check to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2689, 220 W. Park Drive, Huntington, IN 46750.