Proceeds benefit Bravo Alpha® Foundation
Based on 444 miles, each worth $22.84
My name is Phil Parsons and I’m a United States Army combat Veteran that suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Self-Destructive Actions (SDA) to include facing suicide three times. There have been stretches of my life where a day didn’t go by that I didn’t think of killing myself. It was just after my last suicide attempt that I started running. At first, I could barely finish two miles but soon that changed into running marathons and that is when I started feeling different. While there were still things in my life that felt out of control at the time, running was something that I could control and it empowered me. That empowerment not only changed me and my life fundamentally, but I found myself helping my fellow Soldiers when they came to me for help with similar struggles. Having the ability to help others made me feel of value and I began to look for a way to help not just those that were helping me but anyone that was struggling with their demons.
After exiting from the military, I decided to go back to school. Like running, I started at zero, not even a high school diploma and eventually obtained three degrees to include a Masters in Social Work from the University of Western Kentucky. Going back to school wasn’t easy just like those first couple of miles when I started running. My advanced degrees help me secure a position to practice social work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue helping others that have trauma from wearing the uniform to protect and preserve our way of life here in the United States of Awesomeness.
September 23, 2006 was the last time I attempted suicide. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t struggle with my demons from time to time but I wanted to memorialize that date for me while bringing awareness and raising money to help prevent Veteran suicides. On September 20, 2023, I’ll start at the Northern terminus of what is called the Natchez Trace Parkway in Nashville, Tennessee and run the entire 444-mile route through three states to the Southern terminus located in Natchez, Mississippi by no later than September 30, 2023. I’ll also be establishing a world record for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) while completing this southbound journey on foot. It is also no coincidence that the month of September is Suicide Awareness Month and is intended by the federal government to bring attention to the issues of mental health and suicide among Veterans.
My financial goal listed above of $31,200 is not an arbitrary number. In 2007 the Veterans Administration (VA) published a report that stated that Veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day. Since that time the statistics have changed and in 2019, the VA updated their report but the Bravo Alpha® Foundation did analysis into the methodology that the VA was using, discovered and announced that same year that the true number is 31.2 suicides per day when you include ALL Veterans regardless of status AND active-duty service members. That means one Veteran is killing themselves every 40 minutes! The financial goal of $31,200 is an extrapolated amount from the 31.2 suicides per day statistic.
In addition, the Bravo Alpha® Foundation defines First Responders as police, fire fighters and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. Many Veterans that leave active duty in the military find a lot of familiarity in the domestic uniform services of First Responders. There is no overarching organization that governs First Responders nationwide. Statistics on First Responder suicides are highly under reported for various reasons. However, through research the following statement is true… there are more First Responders that die by their own hand than in the line of duty! Think about that for a minute, it is a staggering fact.
I’m asking to you to please consider pledging your support anywhere in the amount of $0.05 - $0.25 per mile. If you can’t contribute financially, then I’m asking for your nonmonetary support and humbly request you share this campaign liberally located at; PhilRuns.com with all your friends, family, coworkers, etc.
This fundraiser is to raise money for the nonprofit called the Bravo Alpha® Foundation (BAF). Their mission is to support Veterans and First Responders in their efforts to recover from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and prevent Self Destructive Actions (SDA).
This is an epidemic of epic proportions and we are asking for your monetary and non-financial support. The scars of our Veterans and First Responders may not be visible but the pain is real. This is OUR pain, this is YOUR pain and TOGETHER we can turn these obstacles from an obstruction to “The Way.”
A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR CURRENT SPONSORS!!!
Fleet Feet (Nashville, TN locations) - https://www.fleetfeet.com/s/na…
Drymax Socks - https://www.drymaxsports.com/
*Please let us know if you are interested in being a sponsor today!
If you are interested in volunteering to help Phil by either pacing or crewing him, go to this link to sign up: https://bit.ly/3s0Kt9U
You can find out more about the Bravo Alpha® Foundation and the work they do by visiting them online at: https://bravoalpha.org/
You can find out more about myself, Phil Parsons at: https://unbridledrunning.com/
-Note: This website from Pledge It has been generous enough to let us use their platform for free. If you decided to pledge your financial support, you’ll be asked if you want to provide a contribution to them as well. This is strictly up to you but please understand that Bravo Alpha® Foundation doesn’t receive any of this tipped amount and all of the tipped funds goes to Pledge It. Pledge It has been used by other notable nonprofits like St. Jude, American Cancer Society, etc. We appreciate Pledge It’s support and your understanding.
This campaign benefits
The Bravo Alpha® Foundation is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support veterans and first responders in their efforts to recover from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and prevent Self Destructive Actions (SDA).
Contributions made to this campaign are tax-deductible.View Website