Tennessee Legion post hosting ‘Be the One’ walk this weekend

Tennessee Legion post hosting ‘Be the One’ walk this weekend

When he was elected national commander during the 2022 American Legion National Convention in Milwaukee, Vincent J. Troiola said the organization’s “Be the One” suicide-prevention initiative needed to be a collaborative effort.

“My platform and No. 1 priority for my year as national commander will be tackling the toughest challenge facing veterans: veteran suicide,” Troiola said. “The American Legion is asking you to ‘Be the One’. And by you, I include every one of us, military and civilian alike. We all need to ‘Be the One’ to begin thinking, talking and acting to save just one life.”

Across the nation, members of The American Legion have continued to amplify the “Be the One” initiative through local events. One such event will take place on March 25 in Bristol, Tenn., where Hackler-Wood American Legion Post 145 is hosting a Challenge 22 Walk to raise awareness about “Be the One” and its mission to eliminate the stigma related to mental health treatment, and in turn, lower the number of veterans who die by suicide every day.

At 9:45 a.m., participants will leave Post 145 and walk to the Cumberland Park Veterans Memorial and then return to the post, covering approximately 2.2 miles.

“I saw (‘Be the One’) on The American Legion website, and I just thought it would be a great thing for our post to do something,” said Sons of The American Legion Squadron Adjutant Rick Minnick, who is coordinating the event. “With the number of veteran suicides a day … I thought it would be nice to try to raise awareness and make it where I could get a lot of people. I figured walking would be the best thing.”

Minnick said Tennessee First District Commander James McLaughlin has assisted in getting other posts in the area involved with the walk and will himself participate. East Tennessee Vice Commander Todd McKinley also plans on attending the event.

American Legion posts and Legion Family members who’ve ever staged “Be the One” events or are planning to conduct events are urged to share their efforts on Legiontown. We’ve created a special section to share these stories.

And if you’re sharing your events on social media, please be sure to use the #BeTheOne hashtag so we can share your events via our social media channels.