“Veteran suicide has got to stop,” explained Chris Montgomery. “I have joined Veterans Recovery Resources because I want to do anything that I can to help prevent further tragedies from happening to guys like me who have served our country.”
Chris is a retired Corporal in the U.S. Marines with almost six years of service, including three combat tours in Afghanistan. During his last tour, Chris was wounded by an IED while serving with the 3/5 Dark Horse Marine Battalion resulting in the loss of both legs, severe damage to one arm and injuries to his eyes and eardrums. After his unplanned return home from a job he loved and recovery from his extensive injuries, Chris became an Ironman triathlete and successful business owner.
The journey Chris has traveled is inspirational to many, but it is not without its real struggles. The worst has been losing fellow veteran friends. Four members in the Marine Company in which Chris served have committed suicide, leaving a void that cannot be filled.
“Veterans risk their lives to defend our freedom every day. Unfortunately, when they come home, their battle can be worse,” said John F. Kilpatrick, Veterans Recovery Resources, Founder & Executive Director. “We are honored to have Chris on our team as a Veteran Advisor. I know his contributions will help our mission of helping all vets get the care they deserve.”
Some estimated 5 million veterans are living on the Gulf Coast, the second highest in the U.S. One veteran in four suffers from severe mental health issues, often turning to drugs, alcohol, and even suicide to end their pain. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 414,079 people live in Mobile County. Of those, 10 percent have served in the military, per SHARE Southwest Alabama. That indicates roughly 10,350 veterans with mental wellness issues that need support in Mobile County alone. The goal of Veterans Recovery Resources is to create another place they can turn before it’s too late.
As the team works tirelessly to get the new business off the ground, Chris has a message for other veterans: “I’m here to tell you that there can be something more. You can have a life again. I’m living proof.”