Last year, more veterans killed themselves than died at war. 350 veterans committed suicide while 295 were killed in action.
Now a well- known valley attorney is working to reduce those numbers and he's asking for your help.
"You don't think of someone that's blind and lost an arm could go on an elk hunting trip, but he went on a 5 five day outdoor uphill downhill up mountain elk hunt," said Phoenix trial attorney Buddy Rake.
Hunting, climbing mountains, fishing -- those are just a few of the activities that wounded veterans take part in at Camp Patriot.
"So Camp Patriot demands the impossible, almost the impossible and by doing that, when veterans come out of that program, then the possible seems easier -- getting a job, reestablishing relationships with your family," said Rake.
Rake is a Navy veteran and advocate for Camp Patriot. He's also been coaching basketball at Thunderbird High School for 26 years.
"It's hard to get them to believe they can do tasks, that they honestly believe are impossible to do and the coach is demanding that they do it over and over again perfectly -- well I think wounded vets are kind of in the same position -- you've got a kid who's lost a leg and just getting up in the morning and putting on a prosthesis seems like a very difficult task," explained Rake.
Rake believes the government sees wounded vets as a project, and that it's up to the public to serve those who have served us. He's committed to raising $2 million dollars for a permanent facility in hopes of helping 300 veterans a year. He's asking the public for $100,000.
"In an hour and five minutes, another veteran is gonna commit suicide. 22 a day -- it's a just a overwhelming statistic and I think the thing I want to emphasize if you're waiting on the government to make that statistic better you're probably gonna have a long wait," said Rake.
Currently, Camp Patriot helps 100 veterans a year. It's hoping to triple that with a 158 acre facility that includes a 16 acre fishing lake.
Buddy Rake, Esq. Donation Page: www.rally.org/camppatriotranch/1euttu4c7D7/buddyrake
Camp Patriot: www.camppatriot.org/empowerment-ranch-.html
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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