I am a combat veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Needing to heal myself and wanting to spread the word about the current veteran suicide crisis, my mother and I set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in March 2014. Yes, most finish a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 5-7 months, but my mom and I are anything but most. Our hike has been one adventure/challenge/setback after another, but we refuse to quit and are still trudging onward. WE WILL FINISH OUR MISSION!!!
Life after war has not been easy. I was medically evacuated back from my deployment to Iraq. It has been a constant struggle to physically, mentally and emotionally recover from my experiences. I have longed to get away and clear my head by hiking the Appalachian Trail. I have also lost two comrades to post-deployment suicide and want to do all I can to help prevent any further loss amongst my fellow veterans.
Stop Soldier Suicide is the first national civilian not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing Soldier and Veteran suicide. For Soldiers currently in the military, Stop Soldier Suicide works with soldiers to receive help outside their chain of command. For veterans, Stop Soldier Suicide creates an environment built on camaraderie and mutual understanding. Stop Soldier Suicide will provide access to resources that can often be hard to utilize once no longer on active duty and plugged in to the built-in support network that units provided.