TC 339: Forgotten Not Gone – Helping to Heal Veterans

TC 339: Forgotten Not Gone – Helping to Heal Veterans

In this week’s podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost talk with Kelley Guidry, co-founder of Forgotten Not Gone, a Las Vegas-based organization that provides much needed help to veterans suffering from depression, isolation, and other emotional and physical issues.

The Mission Of Forgotten Not Gone

The mission of Forgotten Not Gone is to get suffering veterans physically active and interacting with society. They are a 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families through emotional, physical, and spiritual activities.

Veterans are encouraged to re-engage with society instead of living in isolation. Too many veterans go within, shutting off the outside world until it is too late. According to Veterans Administration research, 20 veterans take their own lives each day in America.

“People don’t die from suicide. Sadness kills them.”

Physical activity is one of the surest ways to help veterans get back into an active social life. Based on doctor’s recommendations, the group uses recumbent bikes. “The challenge with most veterans is that we have mobility issues. So our balance may be off, so a regular bike is not really going to work for us.  Or we may have back troubles like like my husband, and he has bi-lateral knee damage. This bike is specifically designed to get you out of the house when you normally wouldn’t be able to ride a regular bike. It’s specifically designed for rehabilitation.”

Peter Guidry, co-founder of Forgotten Not Gone, knows the struggle first-hand and how much this organization aids veterans. Guidry says, “I feel like I’m serving this country again, but I no longer have to be violent to do so.”

Kelley and Peter Guidry, founders of “Forgotten Not Gone”

Kelley explains that the name “Forgotten Not Gone” refers to our Vietnam-era veterans. Once the war ended, Vietnam vets came home to hostility, name-calling, and rejection. They did not receive the kind of respect and support that they deserved. They are still here; forgotten, but not gone.

Suicide Prevention and safeTALK

In the podcast Amy and Kelley mention safeTALK, which is built around the four TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen, and KeepSafe. Each year, safeTALK prepares over 60,000 people to ask: “Are you thinking about suicide?”

Check out this video from LivingWorks.net, a world-wide leader in suicide prevention training, that gives an overview of safeTALK. Check their website for training available in your area.

Below is another video that describes the importance of safeTALK from the perspective of a hockey team.

We encourage you to visit Forgotten Not Gone and other organizations and lend your support. You can learn more about their mission, purchase a Forgotten Not Gone t-shirt, join in on a ride, and donate to their organization.

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