COLORADO SPRINGS – For some veterans, escaping the dark side of their mental health can be as simple as getting together for a barbecue and car show.
On Sunday, the organization 22 Until None held an event doing just that.
“So many times we isolate ourselves because that’s how we’re wired and with this, we’re trying to rewire that,” said Christopher Ruble, the assistant program director with 22 Until None. “We do things like this, we put on huge events to get veterans out of their homes, get them out of their own heads, come out here and have a huge party.”
22 Until None represents the average number of veterans that take their own life by suicide in a single day.
The organization tries to address the smaller stressors in a person’s life in order to stop the feeling of life piling on, and the feeling of no escape. It can be as simple as filling up the car, or fixing it if it breaks down.
“We can get that thing fixed so you can get to work so you can get that paycheck and don’t feel like you’re in dire straights,” Ruble said.
Ruble says he’s felt the feeling of being defeated before and has seen it among the people he’s served with.
He says being in a supportive environment, like Colorado Springs, makes all the difference.
“It warms my heart to see how much this civilian population cares about each other. Colorado Springs is on of the best military-friendly communities I ever lived in,” Ruble said. “Just people coming together to show that they care about their fellow man. it’s something our population as a whole, as a country needs, but also the veteran community itself.”