Local fundraising event to help support struggling veterans

Veterans Voices

An event in East Longmeadow raised money to support veterans who struggle when they return home from combat deployments.

More than 100 people gathered at the Knights of Columbus in East Longmeadow Friday night to support veterans who are fighting a battle all their own.

“Every day, 20 veterans die from suicide, and their goal is to cut that from twenty to zero,” said Sgt. Major Darrell Rowe, a Marine recruiter from Springfield.

The Knights of Columbus aimed to raise $10,000 for Mission 22, an organization that provides treatment programs for veterans to prevent suicide, as well as support programs for their families.

The Knights chose the charity after one of their members lost someone who had served.

“One of our members, Michael Granger, lost his mentor, Sgt. Maj. Mike Parisi to suicide,” said Rich Freccero. “As we were sitting around talking, what are we going to do next? His brother Bobby said why don’t we do Mission 22?”

After his brother lost his mentor to suicide, Bob Granger said he couldn’t help but worry.

“He called me up and told me about it, I was really worried about him,” Bob told 22News. “It affects everyone. I just wish everyone could do more, start getting along. Taking care of our veterans. That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

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