*Event Photography proved by Walter Golf Photography
In observance of this Veterans Day and founded on the principle of “Giving Back” to our communities, the CANA Foundation recently had the privilege to support our very own Kurt Eades and Jon’s Mission for 22 in a fundraising event to raise awareness and support for veteran suicide. As a company with many veterans in its ranks, the issue of veteran suicide is “near and dear to CANA’s heart” and supporting Kurt and Jon’s Mission for 22 was a wonderful way to give back and to raise awareness for this epidemic affecting so many veterans and their families. Kurt shares his personal account of the event below –
I have been a friend of the Busbin Family for nearly 5 years, and I have been a sounding board and dedicated supporter of the Veteran Suicide Awareness battle alongside Fred and Laura Busbin since their son, Jon, lost his battle on Oct 14, 2017.
This is the 2nd Annual Jon's Mission for 22 event. The event brings people, fighting a common illness, together to support those who need the support. In doing this, Fred and Laura Busbin and their family continue to celebrate the life of their son who lost his battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Mission 22 (www.mission22.com) and Project Zero (www.facebook.com/projectzerovets) are organizations that are working tirelessly to stop this epidemic, and they are like no other organizations we have found. They truly put the donated money where it is needed - to the military service members! Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors (TAPS) (www.taps.org) is an organization that supports the families left behind after any veteran death, and they provide much needed support to families in their most difficult times. ALL the money raised during this event will be divided between these three organizations.
On Friday, October 11th, 2019, I was part of a group who set up a small trail for the event, Trail for 22. This trail honored 50 veterans who lost their battle with PTSD, and the thousands who are currently suffering. Included in the named ribbons on each tree was one soldier from Canada, exemplifying the fact this is not just a U.S. illness - this is a worldwide illness. Each ribbon was adorned with an American Flag and Canadian Flags for the one Canadian Soldier. Flags we also placed in the ground in front of each tree.
On Saturday, October 12th, during the actual 2nd Annual Jon's Mission for 22 event, my role was trail guide, videographer using CANA CDS01 Drone and my personal Jeep with a GoPro, safety, and generally anything that was asked of me. The hours I spent with the event-goers, volunteers and Jeepers, talking as we setup the event or while we were tearing down after the event - was priceless. We shared stories about friends, family and brothers and sisters in arms who are or were fighting this battle. Two veterans participating in the event were chosen to receive a set of special "22" Hoodskulls for their Jeeps. These skulls are 3D-printed, and the skull wears a helmet with 22 on the front and a "B" for Busbin on the back.
The event drew in approximately 250 Jeepers, 4-wheelers, SidebySides and motorcycles to the Possum Creek Offroad Park in Ray City, Georgia. We also had 70 items that were raffled off to raise additional donations.
The Opening Ceremony was performed by The Honor and Rifle Guards of the American Legions in Valdosta, Sylvester and Albany, GA. The Color Guard was from the Worth County, Georgia High School JROTC.
The event raised $4,355 on Saturday from entry fees, and another $5,718 from raffle tickets - bringing the total amount raised to $10,073!
People came in for the event from as far away as Frederick, Maryland and the Florida Keys.
To learn more, visit Jon's Mission for 22, Inc. at jonsmissionfor22.com.
CANA Advisors sends a heartfelt “thank you” to all our veterans as well as those men and women serving in uniform today. Wishing all a safe, reflective, and happy Veterans Day!