The 8th Annual ‘Heroes at Home’ BBQ and 5th Annual Veteran Suicide Awareness and Prevention run, walk, RUCK is “Armed Forces Day”, May 15.

Anton Johnson, Veterans Outreach Program Specialist for the Missoula Vet Center, provided details about the upcoming event.

“It's an annual event that we run out at the Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History,” said Johnson. “It's going to be May 15th, and we're going to be starting at 10: a.m. It is in conjunction with our annual Veterans Suicide Awareness and Prevention Run.”

Johnson said the suicide rate among veterans in Missoula and all of Montana had been improving, but has increased in recent years.

“We were doing better for a couple years in a row, but it seems to have kind of gotten a little worse again,” he said. “I don't know if that's pandemic related or just trying to get veterans connected with the services that are existing and a little bit more of a difficult time, but we are seeing an uptick in veteran suicide. So, now more than ever, it's important to get out into the community and really make sure those veterans are aware of what services are there to help them.”

Johnson described the VSAP run.

“So that's a half marathon that you can run, you can ruck it with weight, or you can walk it,” he said. “We do have signups available if you go to our Facebook page to the Heroes at Home, if you search for that you should be able to pull us up on Facebook. There are also some links on how you can sign up for the run. If you're interested in possibly tabling and talking to some veterans about the information, you can help veterans in our community.”

Johnson provided more contact information about the event on May 15.

“Go to the Facebook page where they can definitely get all the information they need,” he said. “That's the Veterans Support Network, Missoula region. That's who's hosting the Heroes at Home and the VSAP, as well as extreme sports for veterans, they team up to make this happen. And if you go to that veteran support network Facebook page to be able to click on the link for the Heroes at Home slash VSAP and get all the info you need.”

The Rocky Mountain Museum of Military History is located at the Fort Missoula complex.


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