Honor Our Heroes Foundation
I was in the country from late June 2006 to September 2007. I was in Mosul, Anbar, Baghdad, Sadr City, Baqubah and other smaller towns. I have no idea how I survived. I remember writing off hope completely, more than once. I still cannot comprehend my current existence.”
“I don’t know why, for sure. I feel that I miss these days more than I want to admit aloud. I feel that everything was much simpler, less stressful. Live or die. Black or white. Not so much gray area back then. Romantic like the cowboy lifestyle appears to be. You’re alive or you’re not. That being the only worry on the horizon is not stressful… it’s peaceful.”
And, that is why our veterans are struggling today. Twenty two of them commit suicide every day. That’s four more a day than a year ago when I first told the story of Jake Walsh, and the Honor Our Heroes Foundation that he started here in Beaufort County. That’s 8,030 veterans a year. “If these were teachers, we would do something about it,” Walsh said.
Sadly, he’s right. And that is wrong.
One year ago I sat across a table from Walsh, and he told me why he joined the Army, talked about his deployment, and his work as a medic amid the horrors of war. Shadows filled his eyes as he recounted his journey, lost in the memories. Walsh was candid about his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and his frustration surrounding the lack of attention paid to veterans. The numbers are staggering. An October 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the VA), indicates that 30 percent of the 834,000 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been treated in a VA hospital for PTSD. In addition to the veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, there are over 23 million veterans living in the U.S., of which 14 million have served during wars dating back to World War II. Vietnam veterans are the largest veteran and suicide population.
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We are committed to alleviating veterans’ stress and honoring their enduring sacrifices.
The foundation works with NAMI Beaufort County and BrainCore of the Lowcountry to provide these services.
NAMI Beaufort County provides support groups and education classes targeted specifically to the more than 13,000 veterans and their families in Beaufort County.
BrainCore of the Lowcountry utilizes neurofeedback therapy to transform a dysregulated brainwave pattern into a normal organized pattern without the use of drugs or invasive procedures.
The foundation also provides short-term financial assistance to veterans and their families.
Honor Our Heroes Foundation was founded in 2012 by Jake Walsh. Jake was a medic in the US Army for 6 ½ years where he served with the 5/20 Infantry Unit out of Tacoma, Washington. Jake was deployed to Iraq in 2006 for a period of 15 months.
Upon leaving active duty in August of 2010, he tried but struggled for a period of time to reacclimate into civilan life while working in corporate America. Those challenges led to some heavy financial challenges further adding to his stress.
By chance, Jake was introduced to a man who ran a foundation for veterans needing assistance to help get them back on track. Within 24 hours, Jake had the money in hand to fix his problem. The stress, concern, fear and uncertainty had evaporated due to that one man and his concern for fellow veterans. Since that day in 2009, Jake has wanted to help veterans the same way he was helped. Jake now has the ability to begin giving back, raising awareness of the problems that veterans face daily and raising funds to help get them back on track.
Honor Our Heroes Foundation is Jake’s way of giving back.