I’ve started talking to local police departments about The Warrior Project. The reception I’m getting is overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
In the past two days, I’ve had several emails back from local departments, and have met with representatives of the police department in one of Maine’s largest cities.
They all want to see this project take off. They realize how much help is needed for those with chronic pain, PTSD and suicide ideation, how much help is needed for grieving families…. and how much help they themselves need in continuing with their jobs every day because of the tragic situations they encounter far too often.
First responders are faced with a horrendous duty. They are the ones on the scene dealing with tragic deaths; helping with the nightmare of finding the dead body of a husband, wife, parent, friend or even a child who has died… whether it’s by natural causes, terrible accident, or self-inflicted.
In my case, I was terrified that my husband had suicided… the events of that day all pointed to one inevitable outcome, one I desperately wanted not to be true.
The Auburn police department arrived almost immediately after I called them. They stayed with me for hours that evening, while some officers searched the woods in back of our house in the rain, and in the dark, to no avail. (I’d already been out there calling for John, begging him to please be okay, before I gave up and called the police department.)
The next morning, the officers were out there again, searching with no luck. I had also gone out again, calling for my husband and hoping, hoping, hoping I would find him alive.
John’s daughter arrived and searched… and she found him. She called the APD to notify them; I didn’t know she’d found him until two officers showed up at my house to be with me when I was told. They were kind and gentle throughout my sobbing and screaming, and stayed with me until more of my family arrived.
As I explained to the officer I met with yesterday, one of my goals for The Warrior Project is to provide staff who can ride along with the officers on suicide calls, people who can provide the extra level of support needed – the hugs, making of coffee, helping with the dishes, soothing of the sobs & screams… whatever it takes – that the officers can’t do.
When I mentioned this to the officer, he not only agreed but took it one step further, and told me about the Code 9 Project, which is working to address the PTSD that too many police officers end up with, because of the nightmarish situations they deal with far too often.
This video gives a good overview of the Code 9 Project. I will incorporate supporting first responders into the work that The Warrior Project does.
It is my fervent hope that as many of you as can find a way to help will support The Warrior Project. You never, ever know when someone you love will suddenly be gone, and your life and sense of safety are changed forever.
I know mine is.
In memory of my beloved husband John Kelly Snyder… 20 Sept 1956 – 21 Oct 2016.
The Warrior Project is a warm, welcoming drop-in center for those living with extreme emotional and/or physical pain coupled with hopelessness, and a resource for families and friends fearing for the life of, or grieving the loss of, the person they love so much.
My Johnny was a true warrior, fighting physical pain and other demons no one else could see. I thought he was the strongest man in the world, and perhaps he was, but tragically, the pain and the demons got the better of him.
The name of this project is in no way intended to be reflective of, or piggy back off, Wounded Warriors which serves those wounded after September 11, 20o1. Like too many others, John was a warrior long before then.
Fair winds and following seas, Husband.
We now have a group on Facebook to help find resources, support and ideas for getting The Warrior Project off the ground. You can find us there at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thewarriorproject/