While my son was deployed they lost two of their brothers. Josh never really came home from that. He struggled with physical injuries (back issues due to being in mortars), and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). On September 23, 2014 he lost his battle with PTS and ended his life. After he died I went to Washington, D.C. to testify before the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs to support the Clay Hunt Act (which I didn’t know was why I was there but it was good to be there.)
Since then I have done a lot to raise awareness because I tell our story any chance I have the opportunity to. We are very open about how Josh died because we know we can’t help anybody else if we don’t tell our story. After Josh’s death, because of my work with Blue Star Mothers of Vermont, we started receiving a lot of donations. People wanted to do something to help. We were very thoughtful in what we wanted, what our Veterans needed. We talked to a lot of Veterans and from what we heard, we knew they really needed and wanted a place to just hang out and be with others who shared the same story.
So, we decided to develop Josh’s House VT which will be a wellness recreation center offering chiropractic care, massage, complementary and alternative healing modalities, a meditation room, a gym, video and game room, meeting and study rooms, a full kitchen for community dinners and cooking lessons, and more.
We won’t stop until there is an end to Veteran suicide. #ForJoshua