Jon Gossett, President of Life's Worth Living Foundation a Utah based 501c3 suicide prevention charity is working this year on a Veteran Suicide prevention project, the statue that's in the video above. Jon's late father retired from Dugway. He was an Army Ranger, who fought in Korea, and lost his battle to Parkinson's In May of 2015. A week before he died, Jon asked him how he was doing. His response was "Well if it gets any worse, I guess I still have my old deer rifle." Shocked this Cancer survivor, war time vet, black belt in Judo, who spoke 14 languages, had 3 purple hearts, 2 silver stars, 3 bronze stars etc. Would even talk like this. His life has come down to requiring his son to get him out of bed, bath him, dress him, and put him to bed, things were tough. The next morning began with the normal routine, Jon got him up and in the shower but when he went to his closet to get his clothes, there leaning against the wall was his 30-06, and an open box of shells. Jon couldn't imagine the work it took for him to get the gun down and the shell box open with his Parkinson's. Luckily he got the gun out of the house and his father passed naturally the following week. "This man was a hero, and still is. That thought still haunts me", Jon says. Last September his foundation was asked to be a part of a documentary premier at the State Capitol, called "Thank you for your Service". It was then he decided he was going to do something for his community... It lead to this statue.
The plan is to unveil the statue in the Veterans Park on 10 November 2018 on Veterans Day. This will be a tribute to all of our soldiers past and present. The ones who died in the battlefield, or at home, but also for those who came home with the invisible wounds that ultimately took their lives. We can't forget those as well. There will be a plaque talking about veteran suicide, as well as pointing out where they can find resources. This will be the only statue in Utah, that has the courage to bring awareness, and resources to those who so desperately need it. We don't leave our men and women behind in the battlefield, and we can't after they are home either. Jon's foundation has started a monthly Suicide Support Group for Veterans, with the help of DAV, and the VFW.
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