Justin heard the words in slow motion, “colon cancer… terminal.” A Major in the US Army, he knew well what would happen next. The protocol – talking about options and time. How much time? Six months, maybe, said the Oncologist. Justin’s thoughts drifted – That wouldn’t be enough time to get it done. This thing which must get done. This thing… it was not for him, it was for the others…
It all began in 2011 when Justin heard about a veteran named Troy Yocum who had walked the length of the United States three times over with a heavy rucksack on his back for a charity called Active Heroes. Troy was on a mission to end veteran suicide amongst soldiers with PTSD. For his efforts, Troy won the prestigious Citizens Honor Medal.
The Rucksack: A component of Active Heroes is called Carry the Fallen. Soldiers and Civilians alike will sign up to carry a 20 lb. rucksack on a march for 3, 6, 12 or 22 hours. Carrying the weight symbolizes the burden that many veterans carry post-war or post-trauma.
Justin Fitch knew about that burden all too well. Justin had suffered in silence from PTSD after returning home from Iraq. One night, he toggled off the safety switch on his firearm as hope grew dim. To the lesser observer, this is the easy way out. To a man pinned beneath PTSD, it feels like the only way out. At that moment Justin heard the voice of his fallen comrade, “Keep going, drive on.” Justin put the gun down and asked for help. It wouldn’t be long until Justin became that person people called to save their lives through his work with Active Heroes…
Donate RIGHT HERE!
UPDATE #1: This is out of the gate as hot as I’ve ever seen: $20,000
UPDATE #2: 1:33pm – Just spoke to Justin, “I am sick as a dog, but so pleased. Thanks to theCHIVE and good people we have raised $30,000 in an hour for my mission.”
UPDATE #3: Donations coming in so fast we skipped over the $40k mark and hit $45,000 in a hurry.
UPDATE #4: 2:01pm – $55,000!!! Donations coming in at a rate of $846 ever minute and surging….
UPDATE #5: 2:15pm – $65,000. Chivers are hawking down the goal at record pace. Ten people have donated over $500, thank you. And if you donated $5, it’s just as important.
UPDATE #6: 2:30 – $78,000!!! We did it, Justin. Sit back and watch this, friend. I think the Chive Community has decided a couple cabins might fit nicely on that land.
UPDATE #7: 3:02pm – $90,000! Justin just emailed me, “You guys are just amazing. Thanks to everyone for hitting the goal so quickly. Good people don’t ever let you down and I am humbled by this. It gives me energy to keep going!”
Proud to be an American today.
UPDATE #8: 3:46pm – $100,000!!!
UPDATE #9: 4:45pm – Soaring through $110,000. Story going viral now.
UPDATE #10: 5:21pm – $120,000!!! At this point I want to recognize all our Canadian Chivers out there. It’s Canada Day and y’all have decided to adopt Justin. Thank you, it’s a multi-national force today. See y’all in Calgary soon!
UPDATE #11: 6:27pm- $130,000!!!
UPDATE #12: 9:34pm- We have over DOUBLED the original goal. Our late-night Chivers are bringing us home. $160,000 and counting!!!
UPDATE #13 11:23pm- $200,000!!!!!??????? Thank you than you thank you holy shit (thank you)
UPDATE #14: Midnight – $215,000 – Justin’s campaign went live at lunch and you did in a few hours more than I hoped to accomplish in the coming days. More than that you’ve built a safe place for soldiers seeking refuge… and you’ve granted a dying man his one last wish.
But you’ve also restored faith in humanity, mine even. You are an unexpected lot of misfits and the pride and gratitude I feel for what you have done for Justin will stay with me forever.
I gotta sleep now, but I’ll update in the morning. Thank you, Chivers. You made good on a promise I made to a friend… and I cannot repay you for that but to say thank you. Thank you so very much for what you’ve done today.
UPDATE #15: 10:40am- $240,000 and good morning, Chivers.
UPDATE #16: 2:35pm- $250,000 – A quarter of a million dollars in a day. Unbelievable…
UPDATE #17: – $270,000… and no signs of stopping.