A Never Ending Need
Unfortunately, there is a never ending need to help service members, former service members, and families of service members overcome the rigors of military service and reintegrate the best way possible into our civilian lives. Fortunately, organizations like The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation (TUSF) are there to help.
Why They Exist (In Their Own Words)
“The suicide rate among U.S. Service Members and Veterans is staggering. It dwarfs the number of those
killed during the GWOT and drastically outpaces the suicide rate of the general population by
approximately 2.5%. A study conducted by Brown University’s Cost of War Project concluded that well
over 30,000 Service Members and Veterans have taken their own lives since the onset of post 9/11
military operations. Year after year these numbers continue to climb, and there is proof that the DoD
and Veteran Affairs (VA) drastically under-report these numbers.
For us here at The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation (TUSF), this is unsatisfactory. Our organization has
been personally impacted by the suicides of three brothers-in-arms in 2022 alone, and we have made it
the primary tenet of our mission to help our military communities fight and win these invisible battles.
Data from hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that positive community engagement and social
connection are substantial factors in suicide prevention.
TUSF embodies these findings and vows to mitigate suicidal ideations and post-traumatic stress symptoms among American Service members,
Veteran, and Gold Star Family populations through our strategic programs and services.
- Intimate and engaging community-building and healing events to provide an environment in
which Military Community Members can gather among like-minded individuals with shared experiences,
network, build rapport and rekindle the sense of community so many of us long for.
- Awareness and advocacy campaigns that bring the ongoing issues afflicting our Military
Communities to the forefront of the general public’s collective mindset.
- A three-pronged approach to health and wellness that promotes the mental, physical, and
spiritual resiliency of our Military Communities.
- A dedicated platform from which members of the Military Community can speak and share
their stories so that supportive individuals and organizations can rally around them.
- Emergency relief for our brothers and sisters in the aftermath of manmade and natural
This is our mission. This is why we exist.”
A Personal Attestation
I returned home from a 15-month deployment in 2004 a different man than when I left. I had been medically separated from the service, and although I didn’t want to admit it, I needed help—apparently, a bunch of it. Like many returning vets, I suffered in silence, too proud to reach out. One of my co-workers from my civilian job had a son who had been through the same thing, and he knew how to navigate the VA system and get much-needed help.
To make a long story short, I reached out to him, and we became fast friends. He was upbeat and made me feel like I was not in this alone. He gained my trust and gave me a list of numbers to call to get the ball rolling, and nudged me a little when at first, I didn’t do it. I owe more to him than I can ever articulate. My life would not be what it is today if he had not selflessly helped me.
One day at work, his mother was balling her eyes out. She came up to me and gave me a big hug explaining that Larry (not his real name) was dead. He had gotten into an argument with his father and shot himself in the head right in front of him in his dad’s front yard. It’s a loss that rocks me to this day, and it’s not the only one. Larry hadn’t been reaching out to get the help he needed.
And that’s precisely why we need people like those at The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation so much.
On 28 MAY, Bigue will be passing through Golden, CO (just to the west of Denver). TUSF will be hosting a Memorial Day Weekend Event with 10th Mountain Whiskey and Cannonball Creek Brewery to honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our Nation. This event will also mark 2,200 completed miles out of 3,700.
On Saturday, 18 JUN 22, the rider will reach the Pacific Ocean and complete the TUSF Warrior Ride. TUSF will be hosting a major event in Coronado, CA, to celebrate this monumental achievement. Planning for this gathering is ongoing, but they intend to hold the event at a Veteran-owned venue to support the community.
Following the TUSF Warrior Ride, TUSF has multiple events planned across the country (some even on Army Installations) that are nested with their overarching mission of instilling purpose to mitigate post-traumatic stress and prevent suicide.
Where to Find Them
You can learn more about The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation online at:
Thanks for checking them out. It’s a great cause.