If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988. Crisis counselors are available 24/7.
GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — The first-ever Irreverent Warriors hike in Georgetown took place Saturday. More than 130 veterans walked to spread mental health awareness in the hope of keeping more veterans from dying by suicide.
The hike started at the Georgetown VFW Post #8587, circled through San Gabriel Park, Blue Hole Park and the Georgetown square. On the courthouse lawn, participants did 22 pushups to represent the number of veterans lost to suicide every day.
Christian Salazar was the lead coordinator of Georgetown’s hike and says there are Irreverent Warriors chapters across the U.S. He says the organization’s goal is to help veterans build support networks and friendships.
“It’s our way of improving mental health and preventing veteran suicide, which is very high in this day and age. We’re trying to avoid that and get them together. Let them know they’re not alone. We got each other’s back,” Salazar said.
Veterans from nearby Irreverent Warriors groups participated in the Georgetown hike.
Jason Gomez of the New Braunfels chapter is just one of the many that braved the heat for the inaugural hike. He said he’s had his own struggles with mental health, and that the group has helped him find support.
“It’s a very empty, lonely spot. But there are things like this where you could dress kind of silly and just someone comes up and tells you a silly joke. It just makes you happy,” Gomez said.
Gomez said the next Irreverent Warriors hike for the Central Texas area is coming up in New Braunfels on October 7. He said registration is already up on the chapter’s website.