We got your six, Jim.
After 12 years in the United States Army and 11 years advocating for the northeast Indiana veteran community, SGT Jim Garigen (Army, Medically Ret.) has finally decided to take some time to himself. His heart has always been focused on serving his country and his community, but now his health, both physical and mental, requires him to rest, reflect and recuperate. His parting wish is to succeed in one final fundraiser—securing $11,000 for the local organizations that he has worked so hard to grow and support: Invisible Vets, Race for the Warrior, Freedom Riders of Indiana Chapter 1, FW22, and Huntington County Council on Aging.
‘Got your six’ is a combat term for following a battle buddy, protecting them from behind, as if watching the 6 o’clock position in back. If we could all give $6 or more to the “One Last Time for Our Veterans” fundraiser on Facebook, we would only need 1,790 people to donate (we have already raised $265). This would be a great way to usher in a new era of Sergeant Garigen’s life, and continue his legacy of helping military veterans heal from the invisible wounds of war.
All money stays in Allen and Huntington counties. To donate, please visit https://www.facebook.com/donate/953274855144747/3330053390366672/
Here’s a little bit about each of the organizations:
Invisible Vets is a U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving homeless heroes, families touched by veteran suicide and general veteran needs. Invisible Vets helps provide basic life necessities for those who wore our nation’s uniform and now find themselves in less than satisfactory situations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization collected and distributed face shields, food and toiletry packages, Kroger gift cards, and other items. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ServingOurVeteranCommunity
Race for the Warrior
This 5k/10k run/walk/ruck/roll traverses the runway at Fort Wayne International Airport. The event is the main annual fundraiser for the Northeast Indiana Base Community Council, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s Military Support Fund, a program that awards grants to military families experiencing financial emergencies. The pandemic and its respective shutdown will have lasting effects for our military community, making the need for this fundraiser greater now more than ever. The race date for 2020 is Aug. 1. Safety precautions are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To sign up, sponsor, volunteer or donate, visit raceforthewarrior.org.
Fort Wayne 22, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organized to facilitate community involvement in the support and assistance of veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) while simultaneously educating on suicide prevention and mental illness. The organization was established in June 2014 by two area Marines, Jarred White and Tyler Egbert, in response to the veteran suicide epidemic. Both men felt compelled to take action and promote change within their local communities by creating an annual event representing the 22-plus veterans that take their own lives every day due to unresolved mental health ailments. For more information, visit fw22.org. If you’re a veteran in crisis or concerned about one, there are caring, qualified responders standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Veterans Crisis Line is a free, anonymous, confidential resource that’s available to anyone. Call (800) 273-8255.
Freedom Riders of Indiana Chapter 1
The Freedom Riders are a patriotic group of motorcyclists founded on the principles of true friendship, selfless giving and the chance to honor those who have sacrificed so much for America. According to the group’s website, “Good deeds breed opportunity to, not only enjoy the freedom of riding, but also to help defend those same freedoms by helping the military personnel who fight for those freedoms.” All rides and events are open to the public. To learn more, visit www.thefreedomriders.org.
Huntington County Council on Aging
Established in 1973, Huntington County Council on Aging has been serving the needs of senior residents and persons with disabilities in Huntington County, Indiana, aged 60 and over. Services include homemaking, foot care, education, transportation and a variety of social activities. The Council on Aging strives to offer services and resources that allow seniors to live independently and safely in their own homes. Visit www.huntingtoncountycoa.org for more information.
“When community comes together, great things get done.” — Jim Garigen