Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a horrible problem with those who have been abused and remember terrible things that have happened to them. Many of our military veterans live with the disorder. The horrific sights they have seen and fear they have experienced leave scars that are hard to heal. Sometimes even with therapy and medication our veterans feel there is no hope and because of that they consider suicide as a way to end the pain.
For June and July we are supporting Mission 22. “Twenty-two veterans take their lives due to PTSD every day. Our mission: End it.” To raise awareness and to help support those with PTSD, veterans are planning a 30-day, 455 mile hike from northern California to the Oregon/Washington border throughout the month of July. Our church members are supporting five veterans, who themselves have suffered the ill effects of PTSD. We, as a congregation, wrote supportive notes for the them to read along the way. We gathered small items, such as lip balm, rain ponchos, individual sized insect repellent, sun screen, hiking socks, bandanas, snacks, cap visor lights, etc. that they can pick up at stations along the way.
The five vets we are supporting are: Bryan Westerfield, Chad Lutz, Magnus Johnson, Kenny Tarpley, and Bryan Reiter. Below is a picture of all the supplies and notes we collected along with a picture of 3 of the hikers,
Kenny Tarpley, Bryan Westerfield, and Bryan Reiter
Below is a link to an article about the hike that was in The Register Guard.
Our little church found out how excited the men were to receive their goody packs they picked up at the stations along the way. We thought it important to support these men not only with items to make their trip a little more comfortable, but to let them know how proud we are of them and that they were being prayed for daily. We received a sweet thank you note from one of the hikers on behalf of the Mission 22 PCT Hiking Team.
Here is another link to a video about the hike. This mission was one of the most satisfying for us.
You may visit their website for more information at www.mission22.com. Click here to support Mission 22 Pacific Crest Trail Hike by Sara Dawdy if you wish to support them by donating directly to their GoFundMe page.