I don’t make posts like this very often. Okay, so I’ve actually never made one quite like this. But I have a new BAG (Big Audacious Goal), and I believe you’ll be interested.

Each day, more than 22 Veterans lose their lives to suicide. That’s not exact – we only know that number is likely lower than reality and that suicides among Veterans are roughly 50% higher than non-Veterans. No matter the number, the outcome is the same, and it is unacceptable. What if there was a solution that could help Veterans while creating suicide-safer communities?

The Big Audacious Goal? I am working to mobilize $100 million to help end Veteran suicide.

It might not be your BAG, but you can still help!

On my end, I have been working with a 501(c)3 called The Long Walk Home, which helps Veterans who are transitioning from military to civilian life. They do this via a mentor program and also by teaching a two-day suicide prevention workshop that equips Veterans, their families, and essentially anyone in their support network with suicide prevention first aid.

Ron Zaleski, the founder of The Long Walk Home, has a book being released on November 11th – Veteran’s Day (it happens to also be his birthday – go figure!). His bio and the book dustjacket copy are below.

NOTE: To be clear, my only involvement with the book has been limited to helping prepare the manuscript and advising TLWH on the publication process. 100% of all proceeds go directly to support the 501(c)3.

Seven ways you can help:
1) Connect with me for an advanced reader copy
2) Leave a review on Amazon on November 11th (add it to your calendar now)
3) Forward this information to your entire network and ask them to get involved (if you have a podcast or newsletter, contact Ron Z for an interview at ron@thelongwalkhome.org)
4) Consider purchasing a pre-order copy of the Kindle edition right now
5) Consider also purchasing the paperback when it is released on Nov 11th (not available for pre-order)
6) Consider taking it up a notch and joining Campaign22 (info below) – funds are being matched!
7) Consider becoming a mentor at www.thelongwalkhome.com

About the book:
When Ron Zaleski returned home from his service to the Marine Corps in 1972, he was plagued by feelings of anger and guilt. As an act of penance, in 2006 he walked barefoot across the Appalachian Trail, where he learned self-forgiveness, empathy, and found a purpose greater than himself. In 2010, he upped the stakes and walked barefoot from Concord, MA to Santa Monica, CA. He traversed over 3,400 miles without shoes, all the while carrying a sign that read “18 Vets a Day Commit Suicide!” and a petition for military personnel to receive mandatory counseling. Along the way, he made connections and experienced things that would change him forever. “The Long Walk Home” recounts Ron’s remarkable transformation from disgruntled Veteran to trailblazing advocate for hope and change.

Author Biography:
Ron Zaleski was born on November 11th, 1950 in Southampton, NY, and attended Hampton Bays High School. At 19 years of age, he joined the United States Marine Corps, serving during the Vietnam era from 1970 to 1972. He then went on to own and operate both a scuba shop and a gym. In 2006, the same year he walked the Appalachian Trail, Ron founded The Long Walk Home—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to serving Veterans and their families. His mission is to help end war and Veteran suicide.

The Long Walk Home‘s signature prevention program is a two-day workshop called Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) by LivingWorks. ASIST is a proven, evidence-based method to help people who are thinking of suicide keep safe for the immediate time, and we are making it available to our Mentors, Veterans, and anyone who supports Veterans (family members, etc.).

Funded directly by your donation to our mission, ASIST teaches skills that enable helpers to better discuss the topic of suicide, and it is one of the best evidence-based programs for creating a Suicide-safer community. On average, confidence to help someone at risk increases from 35% to 100% for the participants involved in our workshops.

Your participation in Campaign22 helps sponsor Veterans and their support network to be trained in life-saving skills. Annual participation of $22 per month sponsors one seat (normally $300). You also get a free Campaign 22 t-shirt (at $22/m) and a signed copy of Ron’s book (at $66/m) with your monthly recurring donations! Wear it with pride to help us create awareness. And if you’re interested in sponsoring a large donation (or matching), please email help@thelongwalkhome.com

You can find more information pm Campaign22 here: https://thelongwalkhome.org/campaign22

Thank you for any help and consideration! Please let me know if you have any questions!

Key Links:
– Pre-order the Kindle here: https://thelongwalkhome.org/kindle
– Join Campaign22 here: https://thelongwalkhome.org/campaign22
– Leave a review on Nov11 on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/tlwhreview
– Buy the paperback here: https://thelongwalkhome.org/paperback (link will work 11Nov)