LAKE MURRAY, SC (WIS) - Hundreds of boaters Saturday packed the waters of Lake Murray for the music festival "DriftJam" and to support veterans and active military personnel.
The festival has been running for several years now and this year they once again partnered with "Hidden Wounds." The Columbia-based non-profit helps veterans and military personnel by providing interim and emergency psychological treatment.
"During that time, why is it that suicide is the answer?" Steven Diaz, with "Hidden Wounds," said. "We want to stop and let people know that if they're going through traumatic experiences, if they're going through symptoms of post-traumatic stress that: one, they are not alone, two, there's resources out there for them and three, it's okay to reach out and ask for help."
Brooks Herring, a veteran and event volunteer who has been close to "Hidden Wounds" and their mission, told us about a friend he served with, that sparked his drive to help veterans.
"I missed things in another friend of mine that I should have seen," Herring said. "While we were deployed, he came to me. We were changing watch and he was talking to me and he was trying to reach out. I know that now, but he was trying to reach out and I was so caught up in my own anger, in my own mission, my own desires, that I missed that hand. And after that last time we changed watch, he took his life. And it's haunted me ever since. And I've committed myself to helping other veterans."
Herring says the services offered by the organization are vital.
"What 'Hidden Wounds' does...it's incredible and I hope to join that and to bolster that and just make it widespread and make sure that those struggles don't end up with us losing one of our own," Herring said.
Those with "Hidden Wounds" say their goal was to raise 10 thousand dollars that will go toward their services.
Click here, if you'd like to learn more about "Hidden Wounds" and donate to their organization.