An average of 22 veterans lose their battle with PTSD every day. Standing at a busy street corner on the day after Christmas in Mankato, Minnesota, veteran Loren Files set out to help others understand that fact.
“If you’re looking for a sign not to kill yourself today… THIS IS IT.” reads Files’ homemade sign
As KEYC reports, hundreds of drivers slowed to see the veteran’s sign.
“Last Sunday, I finished my sign. I had been working on it for a few days, my wife made the letters for me, cut them out, and then I started gluing them on, and she was in the middle of a winter project so I was like well I’m kind of bored. I’m just gonna go out and stand at the intersection for a couple hours and kind of see what happens,” he said.
Files wanted to make sure he was posted at the busiest intersection in Mankato.
“Just to basically get, you know, people thinking,” he said. “People brought me hot chocolate, honked, and waved, the video was taken, I would bet maybe 200 cars, I probably saw you know a thousand cars in those couple hours but 200 to 300 cars honked and waved, you know, lots of thumbs up things like that.”
The video Files refers to went viral shortly after being posted to social media.
“It’s kind of blown my mind how many good reactions I’ve gotten on that,” he said.
Files is an ambassador for Mission 22, a nonprofit that raises awareness of veteran suicide, but he encourages those interested in spreading the same message to get involved any way they can.
“There’s a lot of great organizations out there,” Files said. “Reach out to one of them. If they can’t help your specific need, your specific goal, things like that, you know they’ll probably have you know, know what the resources are to help you.”
“Hopefully we’ll continue to spread the word and the message and start bringing that 22 number down for veterans and the number of suicides down in general for the general public,” he continued.
Learn more about Mission 22 in the video below.Whizzco