Updated: Feb 8
Donning 22 pounds and surrounded by Suicide Awareness and Remembrance SAR flags, Lennon’s group took the first of many steps to help raise awareness of the 22 veterans who die by suicide every day and to honor the fallen.
NEW YORK – At 9:30 am on August 1, 2020, an energized group of patriots kicked off the inaugural Walk4Valor Hike for Military Suicide Awareness and Prevention. Lead by Marine Corps Major Chad Lennon (Reserves), close to 20 fellow comrades, family and friends set off from Citi Field in Queens, NY to trek 66 miles to Grumman Memorial Park on the eastern end of Long Island.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a review of 55 million Veteran records from 1979 to 2014 revealed an average of 20 Veterans a day died from suicide, that’s more than all of casualties from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Support for families of the fallen and their children’s education.
With support from sponsors, The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation, is creating two new educational scholarships for children of impacted families. Throughout the 66 mike hike along Long Island’s, Route 25A, supporters sponsored checkpoints that provided water and rest and served as video spots where Major Lennon and his team stopped to personally thank the sponsors for their support of the cause via social media posting.
Joined by fellow hikers and welcomed by on-site supporters, Major Lennon reached the notable F-14A Tomcat memorial at Grumman Memorial park more than 28 hours after leaving Citi-Field, home of the New York Mets. The start and end points were selected to symbolize the intersection of Baseball and Military symbolized by Bob Feller and the foundation that honors his name.
Virtual participation was promoted for the event, encouraging participants to run/walk 6.6 or 2.2 miles or do 22 or 66 repetitions of an exercise.
Over $11,000 has been raised to support the education of the fallen Veterans’ children and families.
Donations are still being accepted at Act of Valor Award Foundation.org