It's been six years since the New Bedford Mission 22 chapter kicked off here on the SouthCoast to spread awareness of veteran suicide.

Leading the charge is Jared Lucas, who served in the U.S. Army from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2010 to 2011. The mental wellness of others has always been his objective, having experienced firsthand what it's like to live everyday life with the stresses of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lucas is here to make a change on the SouthCoast.

On Sunday, June 26, Mission 22's second annual golf tournament will take place at Acushnet River Valley Golf Course with a shotgun-start scramble. Tee time is 1 p.m.

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"We had a great showing last year," Lucas said, "We maxed out at 36 teams with 144 people (the most you can have) and raised over $14,000. We had a lot of people show up and were blown away by the amount of support for a first-time event and only hope to grow from there."

This year will also feature a 50/50 raffle.

The cost is $500 per team, which includes 18 holes of play, lunch, a 2022 Mission 22 T-shirt and a drop bag.

While a fun-filled day is in store, Lucas reminds us that the reason behind the event should never be forgotten.

"Outside of just veterans, mental health is a struggle for everybody," he said.

"The numbers are so high these days and it's so important to reach out. Something as simple as a call or text can go a long way. It's a fight we can't give up on and I'm here to stand strong for those who may not be able to."

Knowing it's OK not to be OK is half the battle with PTSD and other military-related issues. It's a stigma that should never be bottled up, so if you're ever in need of a friend, an ear or just company, reach out to or message them on Instagram @NewBedfordChappterMission22.

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