BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) — Two fellow Marines are joining forces to host the first Vet Fest Louisiana, an event slated for Nov. 7 in Bossier City’s East Bank District.
“Two primary goals for Vet Fest is to raise money for 22Kill,” explains Marine Reservists Shayne McGinty.
22Kill is a nonprofit in the Dallas-Fort Worth area providing various forms of counseling for veterans.
“Our secondary goal, it’s a job networking event, continues McGinty about Vet Fest. "So any veteran who needs a job, we have employers down there. They’re looking to hire.”
McGinty was serving with Jacob Schick overseas when a roadside bomb nearly took Schick’s life. And after 46 operations and 18 months in the hospital, now minus a right leg amputated below the knee, his life was left in a tailspin.
“I played it over and over in my head, what if I wasn’t here. It would probably be easier if I was gone,” admits Schick, who contemplated suicide like so many other veterans have during and after their time in the military.
But Schick regained his will to live and recovered both physically and mentally, eventually establishing his non-profit named to reflect the number of veterans. on average, committing suicide, daily.
“Shayne and I have both lost very good friends by their own hands,” shares Schick.
“It’s the reason we are fighting this fight. It’s why we’ve evolved into a full blown mental and wellness organization.”
Schick says he will travel from Texas to Bossier City on November 7 with hopes of meeting veterans who attend Vet Fest.
“When these men and woman transition to civilian life, they think the best days of their lives are behind them. And that’s just not the case.”