We have a suicidal, wounded veteran who needs our immediate help. As far as I know, we are his only advocates at this point in time. I will call him Jonny (not his real name, but I want to protect his privacy). He lives about 50 miles east of Charlotte, NC. He has 100% disability. As a Navy Riverine, while serving in Afghanistan, he was shot and blown up- suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
I have not met Jonny in person but have spoken with him numerous times over the past 72 hours. He first called the Red Cross National Dispatch Center (which I direct) to report that his house had burned down. He has been living out of his burned-out garage with his service dog, Molly. He tried to hang himself recently but a friend/neighbor found him in time. His wife is in prison as she recently stabbed him after getting into his VA-prescribed medications.
We have a treatment center located just north of Charlotte, NC that has agreed, pro-bono, to do a full evaluation of Jonny and begin treating him. There are a lot of moving parts, and in full disclosure, we do not know everyone that Jonny is talking to (his short-term memory is almost entirely shot). What I do know is that the police have been sent to check on him 3 times in the last 24 hours. We have been in contact with the VA, suicide hotlines, the Charlotte Bridge Home, and many other groups. My situational awareness isn’t perfect on this but I know that Jonny needs help and he needs it now. We can get him treatment once he has a stable place to stay close by. I/my family have been paying for a hotel room and meals for him off our credit card (this is work done entirely separate from the Red Cross- so I’m speaking as just Luke here). When we first talked to him he hadn’t showered in over a week and hadn’t eaten in 3 days.
Here is my ask: We need to get Jonny into a safe place with a roof over his head. Room plus meal would be $100/day. I’m asking for one month of coverage so that we can get Jonny the help he needs. This would be a total of $3000. Anything over this amount will go to Jonny’s treatment and ongoing care. Since things are so dynamic, we may need to shift this money to use for a cab, dog food, medicine, or some other critical need. If you can help, please go here to donate. Even $20 will be a huge help. http://treatnow.org/ Click down on the right hand side (the website is a work in progress) and click the Donate to IHMF button.
Also, for full disclosure- Jonny does not know that we are doing this. He does know that we are trying to get him help and a safe place to sleep for awhile. He also know we are trying to get him some mental health assets.
I’ll keep posting updates here on my blog. Every hour is a new hour.
Thank you all for your help and service