In 2010 Ron embarked on another unusual journey, 3,400 miles barefoot across America, from Concord MA to Santa Monica CA. He wore a sandwich sign on that walk that read "18 Vets a day Commit Suicide" collecting signatures for a petition to require mandatory counseling for all military personnel prior to discharge. It was an almost daily occurrence to meet someone who had lost a former service member to suicide. A mother would make a U-turn, get out of her car and tell him how she lost her son to suicide, then blame herself, saying, "it's my fault, he told me, I didn't believe him, I should have known, it's my fault", then cry as she held Ron like he was her son. The alarming statistic of the now 22 suicides a day is just the tip of the iceberg; the iceberg is the collateral damage, the homelessness, the drug and alcohol addiction, the spousal and child abuse.
After being recognized at a subcommittee meeting for Veterans Affairs in Washington D.C. he realized that it was up to him to do what he thought the politicians should be doing otherwise he was no better than the lip service and neglect he blamed them for. He decided the best way for him to do the most good was based on his own experience and open a gym free to any veteran as well as any active duty personnel because of his background and the studies showing the benefits of exercising. This will be a place of healing, support and like mindedness combined with access to physical fitness training that every military service member knows and loves.
One man's dream has become a 501(c)3 which shows we care each and every day through outreach and networking with other organizations in the community to help ALL those that need a helping hand, whether it be attending one of our weekly workshop, a ride, something to eat, a place to stay or just someone to listen to them as well as the planned opening of the gym in Key Largo. We have many opportunities for a new mission, going back for the wounded on our own Homefront. Please stop by and see how you can be of service.
The Long Walk Home
97671 Overseas Hwy
Key Largo, FL 33037