On May 25th, retired U.S. Marine Tim Chambers stood at attendance for 24 hours at an intersection in Washington DC to bring awareness to increasing rates of veterans committing suicide. Veterans go through many hardships in their duties. Some leave for service and come back a totally different person. PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) affects veterans across the country and it hasn’t been until recently that it has been looked at seriously. On average 17 veterans take their own lives each day according to a 2019 V.A. report.
Chambers started this tradition saluting motorcyclists in 2002 during Rolling Thunder, which happens every year to gather and honor service members. This year was the first to highlight veteran suicide and the name has been changed to Rolling to Remember. More than a hundred motorcyclists attended the event even with COVID-19 still active.
A charity called, “The Saluting Marine Cares” was created by Tim Chambers to help veterans pay for medical bills they couldn’t afford to pay. Chambers is dedicated to helping his fellow service members especially during these hard times. It was reported that during his 24 hour stance he didn’t take any food or water and never left his post to go to the bathroom.
Staff Sgt. Tim Chambers has shown the true human spirit and how coming together even during a pandemic is still possible. More awareness for depression and suicide still needs to be pushed, and grand gestures like these are very important. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or are having suicidal thoughts reach out to the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
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