We never came home. A part of us never made it back from those days, marching forward to our unknown fate. The innocence of youth fading with every step. As the rounds flew the sights of the fallen overcame our desires to fight. Self preservation became secondary to defending those around us. Our walk turned to run turned to sprint, as we saw comrades fall to their knees in fear and defeat. Make right your life and ask forgiveness for the things you have done and have been done to you. Humanity lost. Compassion and love drift away on the banks of the Euphrates. Lost to the heat of the desert sun. Home Home is not the same, and a part of us never made it back. Blank stares at a bar trying to regain what is so difficult to feel. To experience a sense of numbness when you look at the love in your child’s eyes. The anger of not being able to give that love in return. We are here, but not. Lost on the movement to daylight. Somewhere I still march towards the fight. Somewhere with my friends long gone, wishing to keep them in the light. Waking and knowing they will never return. When we see each other we know. From a distance we raise our glasses and nod in recognition. We understand that we never came home. #forthe22
Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide due to PTSD. In order to raise awareness and increased support for veterans U.S. Army veteran, Ernesto Rodriguez, is walking 2,200 miles across the country.
Rodriguez served 15 years and four tours of duty, which included time in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has lost several friends to PTSD-related suicide and even attempted to take his own life.
Rodriguez’s journey is coming to a close and he is set to arrive in Los Angeles on Wednesday April 19th. He will stake a flag in the ground at the Santa Monica Pier and do 22 push-ups for the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday. His journey started in Tennessee on Veterans Day.
Wake Up Call’s Jennifer Jones Lee’s interviewed Rodriguez where he spoke about the importance of supporting veterans and the dangers of PTSD. They use the hash-tag #forthe22 to help spread awareness.
KFI News' Kris Ankarlo will walk the final 5 miles to the Santa Monica Pier with Rodriguez. You can hear about Ankarlo’s experience on the Bill Handel show.
Rodriguez’s journey is supported and celebrated by the American Soldier Network and Team RWB, as well as many celebrities and government liaisons.