Carry the Fallen event shines spotlight on veterans’ mental health issues

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  • Photo by ACTIVE HEROES Carry the Fallen will take place this Saturday in Bonners Ferry.

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    Photo by ACTIVE HEROES The goal for the event is to bring awareness to the burdens veterans and military families carry.

  • Photo by ACTIVE HEROES Carry the Fallen will take place this Saturday in Bonners Ferry.

  • 1

    Photo by ACTIVE HEROES The goal for the event is to bring awareness to the burdens veterans and military families carry.

When you think of the number 20, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of $20 spent on a dinner for two, or 20 minutes to drive to town, or perhaps 20 refers to the “short” list of things that didn’t get done today.

Whatever relation you attach with the number 20 ... this is one you shouldn’t forget. Of all the things that can be gained in a 24-hour window of opportunity, currently 20 veteran lives are lost to suicide nationwide. While veterans represent less than 8 percent of the national population, they account for almost 25 percent of the national suicide rate.

In partnership with Active Heroes, a non-profit 501c3 organization, a group of local veterans, military families and citizens have banded together to help bring awareness to Bonners Ferry and surrounding areas by sponsoring Carry the Fallen.

Carry the Fallen is a three-hour weighted ruck march designed to symbolize the burden veterans returning home from post-war or post-trauma carry with them in forms of depression, anger, PTSD, anxiety and so on. The ultimate purpose of this event is to reduce veteran suicide and assist military families with needed support by establishing camaraderie within the marchers to cope with post traumatic stress (anger, depression, loneliness, substance abuse and suicidal tendencies) and uniting veterans, families and supporters to care for each other in times of need.

Carry the Fallen will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, with opening ceremonies beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Bonners Ferry Log Inn (43 Tobe Way). The step off for the march will begin promptly at 11 a.m. Marchers will leave from the Log Inn, travel down the old North Hill, circle through the Fairgrounds and return back to the Log Inn following the initial route, arriving at approximately 2:30 p.m.

The marchers will be greeted by supporters and family members, joining the ongoing celebration which includes a community barbecue, live music, beer garden, kids activities (bounce houses, face painting, activity tables, and more) with resource booths, letters of thanks for soldiers, snow cone vendor, and much more. A silent and live auction will be held to raise money for local area veterans and their families with many great items to bid on including, but not limited to the following: a unit of presto logs or pellets, golf passes to Circling Raven Golf Course, a rifle Cerakote Refinish Project, hunting and camping gear, gift baskets and gift certificates too numerous to list.

Before conclusion of the event, a 50/50 raffle drawing will be held and a special drawing for a veteran and their family to attend a 147 acre Retreat Center in Shepherdsville, Ky., with all expenses paid. The center has cabins, archery, hiking trails, animals, and healing areas designed specifically for military families.

The goal for this event is to bring awareness to the burdens veterans and military families carry and to help ease the weight by creating a larger network of support and strength. We are One Team with One Mission.

For more information please contact John Riddle at 208-267-2932 or email riddlefire@hotmail.com. You can also find our event on Facebook at Carry the Fallen – Bonners Ferry, ID. We hope to see you all there!

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