Veterans and First Responders Jamboree Raises Suicide Awareness

CADIZ, OHIO (WTRF) — A special event was held today in one local community to help raise awareness for veterans and first responders and the toll their jobs take on their lives.

It was a 22-mile walk to raise awareness for the 22 veterans and first responders who die from suicide each day.

From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Veterans and First Responders Jamboree encouraged anyone to come out to Sally Buffalo Park in Cadiz to walk at least a mile to show support for anyone who struggles with suicidal thoughts.

With September being National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the goal of the event was to raise as much awareness as possible.

”We’re not worried about raising any money at this event. We’re worried about bringing some awareness to the numbers, you know, from 10 to 24 there was 6,540 some kids committed suicide last year.”

Dirk Harkins – Director of 22 for 22 Walk

It was the first 22 for 22 walk the Jamboree put on and the miles walked was to show support to not just veterans and first responders but to anyone who is struggling.

”Today’s challenge was if you’re out there struggling then and you think nobody cares or has your back, then come to Sally Buffalo Park today. You’re going to see 300 people walk around this lake and we’re here because we care about you.”

Dirk Harkins – Director of 22 for 22 Walk

The event also showed that there is plenty of hope for future advocates working to help those who give the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

”For my 12th birthday, I wanted to do something for the disabled veterans cause I went to Tractor Supply and there was a table set up there with all kinds of stuff to buy, and they donated it to like Wounded Warriors and stuff. So, I wanted to do something like that.”

Daizy Thompson – Advocate for Disabled Veterans

Prior to the event, Thompson raised $1,500 selling crafts and other items that she plans to donate to various veteran organizations.

”It means a lot because I get to share what could’ve been just mine with other people that are in need so then they have help.”

Daizy Thompson – Advocate for Disabled Veterans

It was something meant to raise awareness for not just the Ohio Valley but the country as a whole.

”This is a nationwide wide awareness campaign. This is this kind of things that we’re doing now is contagious. People in our communities are going to want to do this, and they should be doing this. If not, then we’ll come to a community near you and do it.”

Dirk Harkins – Director of 22 for 22 Walk

The 3rd Annual Veterans and First Responders Jamboree event will be held Saturday, September 9 at Sally Buffalo Park with a day filled with events to help raise awareness.



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