The comprehensive rehabilitation program focuses on assessment and treatment for post-Sept. 11 military veterans who have sustained a mild to moderate traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Twenty-two veterans commit suicide each day, and during the event week members of the Shepherd’s Men run 22 kilometers per day wearing 22-pound flak vests to bring awareness to the fight to end this American epidemic.
On Monday, the Shepherd’s Men began its annual campaign through eight cities beginning at the Flight 93 Memorial site in Shanksville, Pa. To pay tribute to the heroes who gave their lives on the Sept. 11 flight, each of the members will wear 71-pound packs over their 22-pound flak vests for a total of 93 pounds on the first leg of the run; in each city thereafter, two team members will rotate carrying that honor until the Shepherd’s Men arrive back home to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta on May 29.
On Friday, the Journey Home Project will serve as host to the Shepherd’s Men in Mt. Juliet. The community can come by Field of Honor at the intersection of N. Mt. Juliet Road and East Division Street before 4 p.m. to get a free hand-size flag to wave as the Shepherd’s Men pass by. On Saturday, the Shepherd’s Men will begin their run through Nashville at the National Cemetery in Madison and conclude at the War Memorial Building in downtown Nashville.
The right northbound lane of North Mt. Juliet Road is expected to be closed from Weston Drive to East Division Street from 4-4:15 p.m.
The Shepherd’s Men have a goal to raise $2.2 million by the end of the year to fund TBI and PTSD research and treatment, and the Journey Home Project is assisting the Shepherd’s Men in achieving their financial goal.
On Friday, runners will leave Smoothie King at 1283 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet at 4 p.m. and run north to the Field of Honor at the North Mt. Juliet Road intersection with East Division Street. Runners are expected to arrive at the Field of Honor at 4:30 p.m., where City Manager Kenny Martin and Dennis Buchanan will make a presentation to Shepherd’s Men. Don Wright with the West Wilson County Exchange Club will speak about Shepherd’s Men and their mission, and Shepherd’s Men runners will escort flag buyers to the field to tie on their dedication.
For the fifth year, West Wilson County’s Exchange Club and American Legion Post 281 join together in holding a display of the Stars and Stripes. Volunteers will post hundreds of flags on the field located at the grassy field at the intersection of Mt. Juliet Road and East Division Street to fly during the days closest to Flag Day.
For more information, visit westwilsoncountyexchangeclub.com.
The Journey Home Project is a nonprofit organization that assists other nonprofits in securing funds to help causes that benefit veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Daniels and board members David Corlew, Ed Hardy, Joe Longever and Mercedez Longever founded the Journey Home Project. Conscious of the need to assist the nation’s veterans, they have set out to partner with organizations that do the most good, with the least overhead. Working in tandem with these organizations, the Journey Home Project is making a difference in the lives of American patriots.
For more information, visit thejourneyhomeproject.org.