Veterans and their families gather to ‘Remember the 22’ and raise awareness for veteran suicide

Veterans Voices

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Ahead of Veterans Day, veterans and their families gathered to remember a specific group of their own who are sometimes forgotten. The Infinite Warrior Foundation held an event over the weekend that raised awareness for “The 22,” the number of veterans that commit suicide every day.

Scott Botts, cofounder of the Infinite Warrior Foundation says this cause is important to him. He’s experienced the effects of depression up close.

“I’ve actually had several friends, veterans that had committed suicide and we just seen that there’s something that need’s to be done.” Botts said. “When the veterans are coming home from being in war, they have demons they got to deal with and they need someone to talk to.”

Most veterans battling PTSD or depression are suffering in silence. Sandra Smith’s son was one of them. He took his own life 3 years ago.

“He was very good, like most veterans are, at covering up what he was feeling inside so when you get that call, you are so surprised and shocked. Those are the easiest words to say. It’s the grief and everything that you feel is unfathomable and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.” Smith said.

Scott hopes he can continue to raise awareness through his organization, and help veterans find other veterans they can talk to.

To learn more about the Infinite Warrior Foundation, click here.

WATE 6 On Your Side is partnering with Operation Honor Guard for the annual donation drive. This year it will take place over 2 days with options to donate via phone bank or online. This annual fundraiser is the primary source of income for Operation Honor Guard and the local Honor Guard units the funds support. The event is set for Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10.

Learn more by clicking HERE.

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