To dramatically decrease the rate of US veteran suicide by moving beyond simple awareness, focusing rather on public education of warning signs, action steps, and treatment options for help and healing.
Each day between 16 and 22 US Veterans lose their lives to the pain and hopelessness of suicide.
Be a Hero...Save a Hero.
This country honors and respects our veterans, and you can help eliminate the tragedy of Veteran Suicide. Thankfully awareness is building. More Americans now know about the problem, thanks to the work of groups supporting projects like the "22 Kill" campaign.
Educating the public about warning signs in the lives of their Veteran friends and family is essential. You often hear, "That's just terrible. Somebody should do something." At Operation Hemingway, we help people understand that those in need are unlikely to ask for help. So it's our job as Americans to look out for and stand up for the needs of our Veterans. It takes courage to reach out to someone in need. But our Vets dedicated their time, effort, and even lives to us. We should dedicate our courage to them as thanks.
Once the public knows the warning signs and what to look for, it’s now important to know what options for help are out there for their Veteran friends and family members.
We raise money to help regional organizations that provide a wide variety of help and healing for our Vets. We support the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline and make information available about resources for Vets, their friends and families.
Operation Hemingway began in Dallas, Texas, after songwriter Dan Johnson, of the Salt Cedar Rebels, had a talk with a friend who was a Veteran about the issue of suicide among Vets.
His friend, a former Marine, directed Dan to the "22 Kill Campaign," a project to promote awareness for veteran suicide. Dan's father, Terry Johnson, was also a vet. Terry took his own life December 6th, 1987.
To honor his father, the other vets who have lost their lives to suicide, and their families, Dan sat down and wrote the song "Hemingway."
He began performing the song at concerts and taking the opportunity to share his story and educate the public about veteran suicide, its warning signs, and what to do if you're worried about a friend or family member.
Dan says, "I don't know if anything could have saved my dad. But I do know that even as a kid, I saw warning signs. And I wish someone would have had the courage to speak up on his behalf and do something to help."
The mission spread as Dan was asked to speak to different groups, performing the song and telling his story along the way. Now Operation Hemingway has launched a campaign to bring this kind of education to a wider audience.
Operation Hemingway is registered as a Not-for-Profit organization in Texas and with the Federal Government. We currently have provisional 501(c)3 status and await certification estimated December 2017.
The project is 100% volunteer run. No money is paid to any staff. Donations go directly to project support, including print materials, online educations and promotion, event funding, advertising, and travel costs for events across the country.