Veterans Helping Veterans on the Street...Beyond the SFV
Black Rifle Coffee is an online supplier of coffee, founded by a Veteran. He is the CEO of Flanders Field.
"Flanders Fields is on a mission to save the veterans left behind to suffer homelessness and addiction by providing them with renewed purpose through community-building and good works (both domestic and global) that utilize their specialized military training and leadership skills."
The following is the copy of his post on LinkedIn because we think it needs to be heard:
We lost a good one today. Tough to write, I’m gonna struggle through the words here.
Everybody knows Jessica and I were homeless and addicted on the streets of Memphis, TN, and that Flanders Fields is aggressively raising funds to acquire a network of sober-living houses there that we will turn into veteran preference clean living.
This guy is one of the ones we’ve been trying to save. He took his own life late last night or early this morning. Still getting details from mom.
That’s bad enough. We lost one we’re trying to help, to suicide.
But this one…damn man.
Here’s the rest of the story.
Some years ago, Jess and I were living in a $700 truck, in winter, with a two year old.
This dude was 18 or 19 at the time and he convinced his mom to rent us a room. It was a huge thing. Life-changing for us. And a huge risk to him, as he lived under that same roof and he knew where we came from.
Sadly, things did not go well for any of us. In fact they went tragically bad. Years would pass, Jess and I would get clean, we would get his mom into treatment twice, and he would go to prison.
He got out recently, went to the same rehab where my journey in recovery started, and then…got out with nowhere to go. His father died when he was young, and he didn’t really have a positive male role model in his life, he didn’t know what to do, and I guess last night he made a decision he can’t take back.
I feel like we failed him, failed to do for him what he did for us. I know that’s not logical, I know he made his own decisions, but I absolutely know I could have done more here.
This sucks. It hurts.
UPDATE: Thank all of you so much for the outpouring of love. Services for Deante “Bug” Edwards will be 9-10-22 @ 10am at EH Ford Funeral Home on Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis, TN. As Bug wasn't a vet, Flanders Fields can't help financially, but his family is indigent. BlackRifle Co paid $2,500 towards expenses (still ~$5k to go).
If it's on your heart to contribute, you can call the funeral home and speak to Mirna, tel:901-345-9558. Jessica and I would not have made it if it weren't for him and his mama. He fed our child when we couldn't and they gave us a place to get out of the cold for a time. If you have any ideas around how we can get a solid turnout at his funeral, I'm all ears.
I want his mama, sisters and his little kid he left behind to know his life mattered, even if he never could see that himself. Jess and I will absolutely be there.
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