George Tice, a Desert Storm war veteran who suffers from PTSD, is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide among our military. On October 27 at 9 a.m., George Tice and fellow veteran and friend, Ray Johnson, have committed to riding their bikes over 480 miles to the state capital in Tallahassee. They will begin their weeklong journey at the American Legion Post 38 in Downtown Fort Myers at 9 a.m. A public press conference and short ceremony is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. prior to the ride.
Tice and Johnson hope to encourage more aid for soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Currently, there are minimal resources and volunteers available to help those suffering from this widespread illness. The two veterans plan to meet with active duty family members, veterans and the public along their way to Tallahassee. “Currently, 1 out of 8 soldiers who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan show signs of having PTSD, and every 24 hours or less a military person will take his or her own life. It is vital for veterans in crisis who call the suicide crisis line to get the help they need and not be left on hold.”
Tice and Johnson would like to see some changes when military veterans call the crisis line. They would like to see boots on the ground and a response team that will meet with the distressed veteran face to face within a 3-hour time frame. “It’s a lot easier for a veteran to talk about their problems with someone face to face,” says Tice.
“I have dealt with PTSD for almost twenty years, and I know what veterans go through,” states Tice. He adds, “People don’t realize the affects war can have on a person’s mind and the permanent damage that soldiers may suffer. Most nights they lay awake, unable to sleep, and it rips them away from their families, friends and life, distorting their view of reality at times.”
Tice has scheduled a “Vets 4 PTSD” Press Conference on September 10th at 9 a.m. at the American Legion Post 38 to discuss PTSD facts, their journey, and goals. A representative form the Southeastern Guide Dogs will also be speaking at the conference. Influential speakers and leaders from the Southwest Florida community including Republican U.S. Congressional Candidate Trey Radel, Congressman Connie Mack, Commissioner John Manning, and State Rep Matt Caldwell have been asked to attend and address the crowd.
Tice and Johnson are looking for sponsors to help fund their ride to Tallahassee, Vets 4 PTSD, and donating all remaining proceeds to charities including American Red Cross Veterans Outreach Program and Southeastern Guide Dogs that provide service dogs for veterans with PTSD. To make a donation, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (239) 738-0601 or visit any Fifth Third Bank and mention you would like to make a donation to Vets Ride 4 PTSD. For more information visit http://www.vetsride4ptsd.us.