As a career professional, volunteer, mom, wife, and friend, I focus on the positive aspects of life, even when the road is rough getting there. Life is funny. How you treat others, how you handle situations, and how you live each day is your responsibility ... so are the outcomes.
There is more to May 18, 2013 than people realize. It is our day of awareness for families and friends, who have lost a loved one to suicide. “When guns fall silent and ceasefires are agreed, wars live on in the minds of the men and women who fought them. And a killer still stalks them, more deadly than the enemies they once faced.[i]” These statistics are staggering. The rates are climbing every year. “349 service members in all branches of the US Military committed suicide in 2012, up 15 percent from 301 suicides in the military in 2011.[ii]” Like soldiers, teenage deaths due to suicide are the number three killer taking the lives of our youth ages 15 - 24.[iii]
I have become all too familiar with the lasting impacts of suicide, the heartfelt pain, and the lack of answers as to “why” or “how could I have helped before it was too late.” It is for this reason we are holding the Homes for Our Troops 9-Pin Tap Bowling Tournament. October 26, 2012 claimed another 15-year old victim and this time, it hit way too close to home again. Maddy was a vibrant, beautiful young lady, who wanted to go into the Army, loved fundraising / donating her time, and was an avid bowler. Now, imagine being a disabled soldier, who not only has to deal with a decrease in their independence, but also has to cope with dreams, thoughts, and other side-affects from being in combat. Unless you have lived it, it is unimaginable, yet there is (Maddy's) hope for a better life and help available for survival through life’s hardships.
If by holding the Homes for Our Troops 9-Pin Tap Bowling Tournament in Maddy’s memory can prevent at least one soldier and / or teenager from committing suicide, Maddy’s death will not be in vain. Participation in and donations to the Homes for Our Troops 9-Pin Tap Bowling Tournament will help bring a family some closure after the tragic and emotionally distressing loss of their daughter, granddaughter, niece, and friend.
This is not just another bowling tournament. It is a day of remembrance, kindness, and compassion for humanity. It is a day we all can play a part in something bigger than ourselves. It is a day a family can embrace a day of good, which blossomed from a day of devastation. It is a day to honor our armed forces by contributing to their stability.
Though we may not be able to bring our loved ones back, we do have a social, ethical responsibility to take any opportunity presented to us to help prevent tragedy from inflicting family and friends with the pain and suffering of another suicide. Please participate and / or contribute to the benefit for Homes for Our Troops on Saturday, May 18 at Riviera Lanes. A family needs you and so do our disabled veterans. Bowler Sign-Up Deadline: Sunday, May 5th.
HFOT Donations Account is established at Landmark Credit Union.
Sign up 4 or more bowlers & Kips Inn will pay 1/2 the entry fee - you pay $20 / Kips Inn pays $20!
Sign up at Riviera Lanes, 86th & Greenfield / Kips Inn, Hwy 100 & Walker / www.nutsaboutgiving.com for a printable entry form, event details, and mailing instructions.
I encourage you all to forward this post, indulge in a moment of silence, and channel Maddy’s Hope through everyone you know.
[i] Retrieved from http://rt.com/news/us-soldiers-suicide-combat-487/
[iii] Retrieved from http://www.teensuicidestatistics.com/statistics-facts.html