Shine the light. We lose a veteran approximately every 60 minutes to suicide! Let that sink in for a moment, that’s almost one for every hour of the day. You may have heard that 22 A Day is used to represent the suicide rate among veterans. Although it is the hashtag and an approximate statistic, that number is rising, and it is closer to 24 a day now. We have lost four times as many veterans to suicide than we have in combat. A third of our homeless are veterans. As an advocate for veterans, I use my crown and sash to raise awareness, be a voice for our veterans, and draw attention to their needs and gaps in the programs that are currently in place.
This summer, I have a challenge to run to raise awareness on this critical issue; that is, not for a political seat but to actually run. As you know me, I am never afraid of a challenge. However, I wanted the number of miles I run to have a meaning and message behind it. I started this blog post with some staggering numbers that are unacceptable and need to change; therefore, I will be running 60+ miles a week to represent the loss of a veteran around every 60 minutes. I will do this for 22 weeks to call out the 22-a-day statistic, starting on Sunday, May 1st to Friday, September 30th. Our United States National pageant will be hosted in Memphis Tennessee this year. To thank our host city and surrounding community, I selected a Memphis-based veterans' organization to help support and raise awareness. I will be raising money for this organization that supports our veterans and their healing by helping them transition back into civilian life.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services MISSION STATEMENT. We are a 50l(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that provides displaced and homeless veterans with the social services needed to totally reintegrate them back into society. Such services include food, shelter, clothing, referrals for training in vocational, educational, and job placement goals, community service referrals, individual and group counseling, and other services and facilities designed to meet their physical, social, and psychological needs and promote their health, security, happiness and usefulness in society. For more information, visit our website through the link below.
How can you help?
Join me in running or walking to raise money and awareness. Share this blog and Facebook post to let others know how to donate to this amazing organization. If you or a business you know would like to sponsor me through a one-time donation or a dollar a mile, that would be amazing!
To donate, follow me on Facebook The Ms. Woman United States, @MsWomanUnitedStatesPageant, or http://www.facebook.com/sara.peterson.7549
Thank you in advance for your support.