Not too long ago I wrote about my friend Jeff Long's death. You can read it HERE if you like.
Last week was Jeff's birthday. We used to go for sushi to celebrate every year. People get busy, you don't see your friends as much as you used to, or would like to. I can't remember the last time I ate sushi with Jeff, which made me sad.
My father once told me you can sit there and cry about it, or you can get up and do something about it. So I started working on ways I could do something about it. Looking for ways to help others.
I discussed it on the video blog, you can watch that HERE
I am fortunate that I have surrounded myself with a fantastic team, and we have found a way to help.
- A charity that helps force professionals dealing with PTSD
- A charity that helps the families of fallen force professionals
- A charity that deals with suicide prevention
- A charity where the overwhelming percentage of funds raised goes to the people that require help
The Violence Dynamics team suggested Blue H.E.L.P. so I looked into them further.
When I saw the the Force Science Institute was a sponsor, I knew that this was an organization that I wanted to partner with.
If you are unfamiliar with the Force Science Institute you should check them out HERE. Also if you are eligible you should sign up for their news letter.
The Force Science Institute is run by Dr. William Lewinski. Dr. Lewinski was my adviser at Mankato State University. He was also my first Karate Sensei, and is a friend.
Sadly, I know that Dr. Lewinski's life has also been touched by suicide. So when I saw his organization supports Blue H.E.L.P I didn't need to look any further.
H.E.L.P stands for:
Blue H.E.L.P - Mission Statement
It is the mission of Blue H.E.L.P. to reduce mental health stigma through education, advocate for benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress, acknowledge the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers we lost to suicide, assist officers in their search for healing, and to bring awareness to suicide and mental health issues.
Honoring the Service of Law Enforcement Officers Who Died by Suicide
We believe that officers who suffer emotional injuries should be recognized and their service to the community honored.
We believe it’s time to put names and faces to the men and women who have died because their emotional injuries became too much to bear.
We believe it’s time to support the families who have lost loved ones to those injuries.
We believe in the saying, “It is not how they died that mattered, it is how they lived”.
For further information please click HERE
In the video I mentioned earlier, I outlined a broad reaching plan I want to implement in October of 2019. You can see Jeff pictured above role playing the bad guy, as he often did, for my SWAT team.
The big plan is to raise funds for Blue H.E.L.P. via a learn through play exercise at Violence Dynamics 2019.
However, big plans require several smaller steps.
Our (Violence Dynamics team) first step will take place in Boston in May (further details to follow)
If you would like to be part of that please sign up HERE
You can sit there and cry about it, or you can get up and do something about it. This May I start doing something about it.
Help me, to help you, to help others.
Train hard, train smart, be safe.
On a positive note, as I was writing this blog I received this message from Jeff's father Denis.
Thank all of Jeff's friends for the birthday wishes, he would have been 40! Thanks for sharing in his life and just know, YOU MATTERED! We really miss him, but know he will always be with us, in spirit.
Because of a huge Christmas miracle, he will be with us in a different form! Annie is expecting a baby boy about late July or early August. After all the in vitro attempts and finally getting little Aubree, this time it is from themselves, Doctor said it was a 2 percent chance, well the odds were in our favor. The baby boy will be named Jeffrey Aubree Long, in honor of them! Just imagine what this has been like during this grieving time! Makes it bearable now, but still hard. Love to you all!