Project Diehard has mission to help veterans and families

MAKANDA, Ill. (KBSI) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 veterans per day committed suicide in 2019.

Project Diehard is trying to change that. 

The organization has plans to renovate Forward Operating Base Rush to provide a facility to help those struggling veterans get back on their feet.  

Founder and President Brian Gibson wants to give hope to veterans who are struggling to keep that hope alive.

“When they come here, their brothers and sisters are here with open arms saying, ‘It’s okay to talk. We understand. We’re a tight community.’ I can relate to my brother or sister who has seen and done things that I have,” he said. “I can tell them, ‘Hey, yeah I know it’s bad, but there is hope at the end.” 

Gibson was a combat medic in the United States Army and went through the lows like so many veterans before and after him. 

“God saved my life, and I’m just doing His work,” Gibson said. “I don’t want to be rich. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to help my brothers and sisters be what they can be.” 

Once completed, the renovated facility will be able to house 12 single veterans and two veterans and their families for up to a year while providing skill training, job placement, equine therapy, and more. 

Motivational Speaker Chris Tice gladly accepted the invitation to Project Diehard’s Hope Stock event this weekend, the proceeds from which will go towards the renovation. 

“We want to continue that message of hope, the opportunity for a community to bring that awareness, and to say that you matter,” Tice said.

Evangelist Michelle Faust and her husband, Daniel, nearly went homeless several times after Daniel returned from active duty in the Air Force. 

Michelle said they have joined Gibson in his mission to help veterans and their families.

“Brian Gibson is not after money. He’s not after fame. He’s not after fortune. He’s after the hearts of the veterans and taking care of the veterans, and not just the veterans, but the family units and being that voice of hope for them.” 

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