Journey for Change
Journey For Change: Preventing Veteran Suicide Through Community Action and Awareness was founded in 2015 by five Santa Cruz, CA veterans. This grass roots campaign began when Vietnam Veteran Buzz Gray retired and wanted to make a difference in the Veteran Community. He decided on a Journey to the State Capital to bring a message of change and hope. This is based on the belief that some battles don't end when service members return home, and that mental health challenges do not determine strength of character. We started this organization to raise awareness and to support all veterans struggling with mental health issues. We also believe seeking treatment should be a sign of strength and not of stigma.
The inaugural walk departed Santa Cruz on May 16, 2016 and arrived at the Capital on June 7, 2016. Journey For Change organizes and implements a variety of activities throughout the year that support veterans and include their families and friends. We have conducted several other walks, have annual 24-hour Watch Fires, challenged ourselves on a ropes course, and participated in other community events. We are currently planning events for " Journey For Change Day " in Santa Cruz on May 23 and Veteran's Day, November 11th.
Our message to veterans is clear, " You are not alone.”
Please check our Upcoming Events page HERE for more information about events this year.
The following organizations stepped up and made the inaugural Journey for Change event (May-June 2016) a huge success!! Without these groups we would have not succeeded. Thank you all!
American Legion Post #564 Santa Clara, CA.
The American Legion in Santa Clara was instrumental in the success of Journey for Change! We approached this group asking them for monetary support for our inaugural event, and they were eager to help. They not only provided us with monetary support, but also joined us at our stop in San Jose, and hosted our walkers overnight when we walked through their area. Thank you for all you continue to do serving our veterans throughout the Bay Area! We are humbled, and grateful for your support!
Legion Riders - American Legion Post #564
The American Legion Riders of Post 564 raised additional money for our journey and were very crucial to our success. When the American Legion stepped up to help, the Legion Riders from the Post decided to go “Above and Beyond” the efforts of their post. They raised money themselves to make sure that we had enough to make the journey. We cannot thank them enough for this, because without them we would have had to work much, much harder to get the necessary funds to complete the journey. This allowed us to focus on all the many other aspects of this long-distance journey and subsequently made our event a huge success.
Thank you so very much Legion Riders!! You truly inspire us!
Twin Lakes Church - Aptos, CA.
Twin Lakes Church provided much needed transportation to our walkers throughout the walk from Santa Cruz to Sacramento. They provided us with a 10 passenger van, a driver, and all the fuel on our journey. This allowed us to focus on other aspects of the over 200 mile walk, and was elemental in our success. Thank You!
Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists Incorporated (VRSI)
VRSI has been one Vets 4 Vets biggest supporters since our inception in January of 2015. They were extremely helpful with the Journey for Change inaugural walk and continue to support our veterans in any way possible. Thank you VRSI for your collaboration serving the veterans of Santa Cruz, Monterey, and the entire Bay Area!