SYLVESTER – The first veterans suicide awareness event has been scheduled for June 5 at the Ag Pavilion.

All proceeds from the event will go to supporting local charity, Jon's Mission for 22, organizers said.

The focus of the event is to raise awareness of the battle veterans face when they come home suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Jon's Mission for 22 is named for Army veteran Jonathan Busbin, who succumbed to his battle with PTSD in 2017 when he got home, organizers said.

In 2013, the Department of Veteran Affairs released survey findings that showed roughly 22 veterans a day die by suicide. In 2019, a Veteran Suicide Prevention Report showed that in 2017 an average of 17 veterans a day committed suicide. 

Many activities are scheduled during the event, starting with a presentation of colors at 10 a.m. and the singing of the national anthem. Taps will be played following a prayer. 

Food vendors will be present for the event along with a $1 big ticket raffle contest. A patriotic silent art auction is also scheduled and event organizers ask local artists for art donations to support the event.

Live music from South Georgia musicians will be playing all day. The event will showcase guest speakers to discuss the topic of  the veteran suicide rate that plagues troops when they come home. 

Additionally, there will be a classic car and truck show during the event. The categories for winners will include: oldest around, overall favorite, farthest traveled and Abi's choice. Pre-registration for the car show will cost $15 and late registration will cost $20. 

For more information about the event or how to support the mission, call Emma Layne, (229) 603-8859 or email elynn268@gmail.com

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