Nashville retired Army Sgt. bicycling across America for veteran suicide awareness
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
A U.S. Army veteran from Nashville is riding her bike from sea to shining sea in an effort to raise awareness of veteran suicide.
Strapping on gear, adrenaline pumping and powering through on tired muscles.
It's no wonder retired Army Sergeant Sarah Lee feels at home on a bike.
Lee served in Operation Iraqi Freedom., and says the hardest part of war isn't the firefights, it's coming home after them..
“Everything kind of feels very underwhelming,” Lee said. You crave that part of yourself to come back
Today she struggles with PTSD
“I felt at war with myself,” Lee said. “We're trained not to complain. A lot of us really don't want to talk about or don't know how to talk about some of these things.”
Her outlet: therapy on two wheels. She's one of the lucky ones.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says every day 22 veterans take their own lives.
“I really want to honor my brothers and sisters,” Lee said. “That is huge for me.”
Lee plans to stop at some 250 communities to talk to veterans and veteran advocates. She wants to end her journey by riding to the pacific ocean over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
“I think it's really symbolic, crossing bridges…new beginnings,” Lee said.
She doesn't know if the Pacific Ocean will give her the answers she's looking for…but what else would a soldier do...other than ride into the unknown for her fellow soldiers?
“If by taking on this journey and being vocal about my own issues results in even one veteran feeling less alone, or inspires one veteran to power through another day instead of taking their life own life, that's mission accomplished,” Lee said.
Lee plans to fund the trip herself and even sleep in a tent to keep costs down.