“We lose 22 brothers and sisters a day to suicide and I think the public is unaware of that issue and we’re just trying to band together all veterans, to raise that awareness and be there for each other in times of struggle,” says Jack McIlwain, an Iraq war veteran.
He left Indiana October 29th and walked over Burlington’s Great River Bridge to cross into Iowa on Veteran’s Day. McIlwain is the Indiana State Commander for Warrior Pointe. It’s a nationwide, non-profit organization focused on helping fellow veterans in the communities they call home.
“Sometimes all it takes is someone to talk to, just pick up the phone and that can save someone’s life,” he says.
McIlwain says local Warrior Pointe chapters provide a safe place for veterans to meet, connect, network and help other veterans.
“Just knowing that I have those brothers and sisters there to lean on in times of need, to talk to,” McIlwain says.
McIlwain and another Iraq war veteran who’s a member of Warrior Pointe walked the state of Indiana this summer. McIlwain’s Facebook page says he crossed the 770 mile mark in his current walk on Veteran’s Day.
(Reporting by Rob Sussman, KBUR, Burlington)