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Anthony Ramos: US Army Veteran Raises Awareness of Military Suicide

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Ramos Daughter Lead

Anthony Ramos is a winner who truly cares about the hearts and well-being of his fellow soldiers. Veterans will now be remembered not just on Veteran’s Day, but all throughout the year. Lauderdale County is home to almost 100,000 people. One choice, one winning decision to spread awareness reached almost 100,000 people within just a few short weeks. One man’s determination has truly made a difference in his community! “People need to know,” says Ramo. “More soldiers took their own lives than died in combat during 2012.”

The retired Army Specialist’s approach to spread awareness of veteran suicide was not what most people would consider the norm. His game plan consisted of walking 22 miles, stretching from his hometown of Rogersville, Alabama to the western end of Lauderdale County. Each mile added up to represent the disturbing statistic of the number of veterans that lose their life to suicide each day in the United States. He simply got the word out by posting his plan to his social media account. Ramos’ determination to spread awareness quickly circulated throughout Lauderdale County. His ambition led corresponding soldiers to accompany him. Fellow, local soldiers joined Ramos in his journey in hopes to show support to all soldiers and to let them know they are not alone in the struggles they deal with. In doing so, he raised awareness not only to community members, but also to past and present soldiers’ family members.

“A lot of times, family members and friends throw parties and have social events for veterans coming home. What they don’t know is, behind closed doors, they’re dealing with struggles,” said Ramos.  Ramos's Walking

Ample support was shown to him and his fellow soldiers — drivers honked their horns to show support of his efforts, Alabama State Troopers escorted the soldiers, food and drinks were offered throughout the walk, anonymous citizens left money at convenient stations for replenishing, news crews and local radio stations sought after his story, and social media propelled due to the determination and purpose of the soldiers. It is amazing how small efforts will allow a community to come together in support of one another.

The walk began on the foggy morning of November 11, 2015 and was completed just after eight hours and 30 minutes.   Devout community supporters were waiting at the finishing point in Florence with cameras, offerings of support, and food and drinks.

All the acknowledgement didn’t stop there! Since the walk, an evident increase in admiration has been shown to veterans and active service men and women due to the efforts shown and the amount of people reached. Ramos and his fellow soldiers were asked to represent Capstone Realty in the Florence Christmas Parade. The company created a float with the theme, “Support Your Troops.” Due to the support and astounding feedback Ramos received from his efforts, he created a non-profit Facebook page titled, “Soldiers of the Shoals.” His intent is to continue recognition of local veterans and any active service men or women. This includes active or retired Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard. Each week, one local service man or woman will be spotlighted on the page including his or her related criteria. His exertion will allow community members to distinguish the brave souls we have among us that have committed themselves to protecting and serving our country.

“Shake a veteran’s hand. Thank one. Simple gestures go a long way,” said Ramos.

Anthony Ramos is a winner who truly cares about the hearts and well-being of his fellow soldiers. Veterans will now be remembered not just on Veteran’s Day, but all throughout the year. Lauderdale County is home to almost 100,000 people. One choice, one winning decision to spread awareness reached almost 100,000 people within just a few short weeks. One man’s determination has truly made a difference in his community!

“>“>Ramos's Walk end

” I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

~ President & General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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