A. After retiring from the Air Force after serving for 21 years, I got into a mundane cycle and my own mental health was suffering. Once I found out about the 50 Mile March and its purpose, I engulfed myself in every aspect of it. My dear friend and former co-worker Amy took her own life four years ago so she was my “why.” From fundraising to walking to spreading the word about the march and its impact on veterans – I did it for her.
A. I am a retired Air Force veteran. I have provided hundreds of suicide intervention counselings so I have a deep concern for those suffering with life’s challenges. I want to do everything I can to stop the epidemic of veteran suicide.
A. Being part of the 50 Mile March didn’t just raise funds for the foundation; it galvanized my commitment to be a lifelong advocate for veteran issues. The impact is not fleeting; it’s an enduring reminder of the work that still needs to be done. The experience left an indelible mark on me, reinforcing my resolve to stand by this initiative until the vision of the 50 Mile March Foundation becomes a widespread reality. The march didn’t just end after 50 miles; it started a lifelong journey of advocacy and support for a cause that I deeply believe in.
A. Being a veteran myself, I know a little about the stresses former military face when they leave the service. Some are negatively impacted by the duties they had and are permanently scarred. Being able to do something to positively help them means a lot. It’s way more than a walk, it’s a journey for a great cause. The preparation physically and mentally is life-changing for me. I am proud to say I raised money for a great cause and I found, as Jay likes to say, my tribe. I’ve done many things in my life but this is certainly one of the most impactful. Let’s Gooooo!!
A. It is life-changing! I participate, because patriotism and saying thank you is important to me. I participate because those who are suffering need our help. I participate because the need for resources is beyond what we can do as individuals, but together we can accomplish it!
A. I participated for two reasons:
1. Empower veterans facing mental health challenges and homeless.
2. Challenge myself by rucking 72 pounds, which is symbolic of the 72 Nebraskans who sacrificed their lives in the War on Terror.
I failed this year’s 50 Mile March due to dehydration (long story) but I am determined to “continue the mission” next year. Veterans who face mental health challenges and homelessness don’t get to take a break … I won’t either.
A. I found out about the 50 Mile March at an event at the VA from a past participant. I was intrigued by the opportunity to impact not only the homelessness crisis that impacts the veteran community but also to attack the veteran suicide problem. As a veteran, I found the challenge of walking 50 miles in 22 hours also appealing to me as a mental and physical challenge. There are many worthy charities to give to, and never enough money to impact them all, but with the 50-MM, and Operation Homefront, they are building a tangible physical structure that will impact Veterans as soon as it is completed.
A. I did the 50 Mile March to help support those who volunteered to serve our country when they need support. Doing the 50 Mile March did two things for me. First, after crossing the finish line, it made me realize what I am capable of after being pushed to a breaking point. And secondly, after crossing the finish line, it made me so proud to give back to those who serve.
A. As a co-founder of the 50 Mile March, we walk for those who have served this great country that I get the opportunity to live in. As a physician, I see the incredible impact that mental health has on these vets and their families. We take so many of our conveniences for granted and most of us do not struggle for basic necessities or a place to call home. My passion and purpose are leaving ripples in this world that can outlast me. 50 Mile March gives us all an opportunity to create solutions for those who have given so much sacrifice to our country. Together we are better!
A. To help raise funds and give back to our veterans who gave so much to our country. The mental health aspect and raising awareness in the country about the number of veterans who take their lives every day and letting them know it’s okay to ask for help and there are resources out there for you. The fact that all the money raised goes to giving back to veterans is a small gesture of how thankful we all are.
A. When I took my first steps from the Lincoln capitol and embarked on the 50 Mile March I had one goal: to help veterans in any small way I could. Little did I know how transformative this event and organization would be to my life and to the veteran community. I’ve been fortunate enough to have veterans as family members, friends and colleagues and have witnessed a glimpse of the sacrifices they make to ensure our freedom. The march pushes people to their max. The pain is temporary, but our efforts can make a lifelong impact on the vets who need help. They served for us, we march for them!
A. I have always been a patriotic person and supportive of our veterans. I know firsthand how a pack of resources can affect a veteran. When my father came home from Vietnam, not only was there a lack of resources but there was also no support. They were not welcomed home. It affected him in a most drastic way and, in turn, we all were affected. There is no reason someone like him should face depression and PTSD without help. We owe them at least that.
A. I learned about the 50 Mile March while employed as the veteran advocate for Benchmark Mortgage. As a veteran and having been impacted by suicide myself, I knew this was an organization I had to be a part of. When you put yourself through that grueling of a process, you really get a glimpse into what veterans suffering from mental health challenges and homelessness deal with on a daily basis. Raising a small amount of money and donating my time is the least I can do to support such an important demographic in my community.
A. I participated this year to honor the men and women who serve our country. It was an amazing experience with even more amazing people. Overwhelming sense of accomplishment and community. Can’t wait to do it again next year.
A. I’m a veteran marching for veterans. I am a disabled veteran myself, but am fortunate to not have or carry the scars of my combat experience. I march for those not so fortunate and many of those suffer from injuries seen and unseen, like PTSD and TBI – like me. This effort is for them and those who will follow in our footsteps in defense of our great nation. I am doubly honored to have led this march at the age of 59.