2200 for 22: A veteran's ride to prevent suicides - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

2200 for 22: A veteran's ride to prevent suicides

Mike Patrick was deployed to Iraq in 2006 Mike Patrick was deployed to Iraq in 2006
Mike Patrick is riding 2200 miles to help end veteran suicides Mike Patrick is riding 2200 miles to help end veteran suicides

2200 miles for 22 veterans.

ArkLaTex native Mike Patrick is in the middle of a 2200 mile motorcycle ride on his Harley Davidson to put an end to veteran suicides.

"I've been close a few times," admits Patrick who says he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving a tour in Iraq in 2006 and 2007.

"Things that before you never thought about, now you see as a threat," explains Patrick during a pit stop and visit with his mother at her Shreveport home.

"Garbage on the side of the road. Before it's people that don't have respect for the environment. Not it's, 'is that going to explode on the side of the road?'"

Patrick hopes his cross country trip brings awareness to the alarming rate of veteran suicides. He says he's also doing it to raise money for ActiveHeroes.org, a nonprofit which offers peer support and various resources to help veterans.

"The big message I'm pushing out on this ride is to contact vets and servicemen and women they know. As military, most of us won't reach out for help. But we'll accept it."

Patrick explains because adapting back to civilian life can be such a struggle, man military men and women opt to return to the dangers of the battlefield.

"It's a failure to adapt when we get back, where the structure is missing and you don't know what to do. It's why you see veterans going back for 5, 6 or 7 tours."

And it's why Patrick is riding 2200 for 22.

"As bad as it's been, as much as I've struggled," continues Patrick, "I wouldn't be where I am today. But I think I'm a better person for it."

You can donate to Patrick's cross country ride on his Facebook page, Ride2200 to End Veteran Suicide.

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