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Treasure Coast nonprofit wants to build memorial for veterans who died after coming home

<i>WPBF</i><br/>A nonprofit on the Treasure Coast wants to build a memorial to honor veterans who died after coming home. It would be called the Sacrifices of War monument. “Anything to do with veterans affairs
WPBF
A nonprofit on the Treasure Coast wants to build a memorial to honor veterans who died after coming home. It would be called the Sacrifices of War monument. “Anything to do with veterans affairs

By Ari Hait

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    PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida (WPBF) — A nonprofit on the Treasure Coast wants to build a memorial to honor veterans who died after they came home.

It would be called the Sacrifices of War monument.

“Anything to do with veterans affairs, I’m very passionate about it,” said Dave Pickett, founder of Gulf Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Association.

Pickett is currently a city councilman in Port St. Lucie.

But before that role, he was Sgt First Class Picket of the U.S. Army, where he served for 32 years, including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Picket said he recognizes that just because soldiers and marines come home safely doesn’t mean they’re safe.

“There’s four people that served with me that committed suicide,” Pickett said. “And I want to bring awareness to PTSD.”

That’s why Pickett founded his nonprofit with the goal of bringing veterans together with other veterans and helping restore the camaraderie they had while serving.

“It’s a lot easier for veterans to talk to other veterans about their mental health than it is for them to go and talk to someone who isn’t a veteran,” he said.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 veterans commit suicide every day.

Many others die from wounds, both physical and mental, they received while serving.

“People who come and perish after they come home because of wounds they sustained while in theater, there’s nothing that memorializes them,” Pickett said.

Pickett wants to change that.

He has gotten approval from the city of Port St. Lucie to build the Sacrifices of War monument.

It would probably go to Veterans Memorial Park and would honor those who served and died after they came home.

“It’s a place for families to come and memorialize their son or daughter who might have passed away,” Pickett said.

Pickett said he needs to raise $100,000 to build the monument.

He has so far raised $18,000.

You can make a donation to the construction of the monument at the nonprofit’s website here: giava.org

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