Local first responders are honored for their service during a ceremony that also raises awareness of veteran suicide rates.
The annual Patriots Awards took place in Bossier Monday afternoon. The keynote speaker, Jacob Schick, is from the non-profit organization, 22KILL. It’s named after data from the Veterans Administration that shows an average of 22 veterans die by suicide everyday.
Inside the civic center, there’s love of country and community while Bossier and Caddo first responders and military members are recognized.
“It’s a somber day for us in our country but I’ll be talking about service and sacrifice and how amazing our first responders, law enforcement are and how us as warriors couldn’t do what we do without knowing their here ready to stand and defend our families,” Schick said, 22KILL CEO.
Schick grew up in Bossier before moving away in high school. He’s a third generation U.S. Marine who served in Iraq where he was severely injured by a tank mine.
“I learned through my experience the physical pain reminds you, you’re alive but the mental pain will test your will to stay that way,” Schick said.
He’s now back home to talk with others about mental pain. His organization 22KILL works to prevent veteran suicides by providing programs that help with post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
“At the end of the day everybody is struggling with something. No matter if you went to combat or not. We want people to know it’s ok to not be ok. Just don’t fight that fight alone. That’s why we say one tribe, one fight because we’ll all in it together,” Schick said.
26 people were nominated and seven were given the Patriot Award from the different categories.
The award recipients are:
Battalion Chief Cedric White, Shreveport Fire Department
Law Enforcement Bossier:
Patrolman First Class George Fanning, Bossier City Police
Law Enforcement Caddo:
Sergeant Michael Lasuzzo, Shreveport Police
William Adams, Bossier Communications
Reserve/Guard- Senior Airman Timothy Brown, 707th Maintenance Squadron
Active Duty Military-
Major Matthew Chamberlain, Airforce Global Strike Command
Lieutenant Colonel John Storey, U.S. Air Force