Grand Rapids is Next

We went to Albion, Michigan on 5 July to pack up everything and take it back home to prepare for the next location, Grand Rapids.

660 crosses is way too many. While the true number of veterans who commit suicide each day can only be estimated, and estimates go anywhere from 16 a day to over 50, there are still plenty of ways we can help make that number go down. Some of them are as easy as talking to any vet you know and asking them how they are doing. Congressional representatives don’t know how constituents think about the issues since they have so many people in there districts they can’t know them all. A simple note from each of you will help them decide what to do with the VA’s annual budget and make other veteran related decisions. You may not think your opinion matters, but when it is coupled with the notes from many others, it adds up enough to help your representatives make better choices. I once had a state senator tell us that his decision on a bill was made up because on 14 people wrote to him about what to do and most wanted him to vote yes, so he did. 14 people ended up speaking for an entire state!

Our next stop is Grand Rapids. We will setting up on land owned by Greenleaf Landscaping Supply Company, 231 N Park ST NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49544. We’ll be within sight of US 131, just south of the baseball stadium. American Legion Post 2 is hosting us and will be in charge of placing the crosses each day at noon. See you there?

Next Stop, Albion

It has been a very busy month for us. We went to Hollywood, Florida to retrieve our trailer after crosses were placed there by Knights of Columbus.

By then, the trailer had been on the road for five months, so crosses, lights and other things were in need of repair, replacement or upgrades. The next location was in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, near the Washtenaw County Vietnam Veterans Memorial. We were able to get everything on line in time enough to have 660 crosses up the day before Memorial Day, but not without suffering storm damage.

We are grateful to Wall Street Towing in Ann Arbor, Michigan for bring out a garrison flag to us on Memorial Day. Ypsilanti Township employees, led everyday by Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo, helped place crosses along with members of the Charles S. Kettles Chapter 310, Vietnam Veterans of America. We placed a tent with a table, ice chest, and chairs so people would feel more comfortable stopping by to ask questions and tell us about veterans they know. When the first tent was destroyed, we put up a stronger one that was pulled out of the ground by even stronger winds. The table and ice chest survived.

We used our location as a water stop for the Army National Guard Memorial Day Ruck held two weeks before Memorial Day.

Our next stop is Riverside Cemetery, 1301 S Superior St, Albion, Michigan, 49224. We will setup there on 3 June and the first crosses will be placed on 4 June.

Vero Beach

It’s been a hard working few weeks. We traveled to Rutherfordton North Carolina to see 660 crosses standing tall.

It took us most of the day to pack everything back up. After a night in a hotel, we left for St Helen’s Catholic Church in Vero Beach Florida.

There, we found a great location on US Highway 1. It gets a great deal of traffic at a 5 way intersection. The site was even more complicated to setup than Rutherford, but we think it is going to be well worth the work for the exposure it will get. We helped crews from Knights of Columbus councils put in the crosses on the first day.

Also pictured is Bob Kwiecinski, District Deputy for Knights of Columbus District 62. He’s the one who arranged the volunteer help from three Knights of Columbus Assemblies (1932 St. Helen’s & Holy Cross, 2194 St. Sebastian and 3297 St. John of the Cross) and four Knights of Columbus Councils (5629, 8009, 12141 and 13153. Faithful Navigator Ron Hunkapiller is overseeing the daily activities of the volunteers.

Now, on Day Six, we see their good work continues:

We have a firm commitment to move the crosses to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan during September, but before that happens, we’ll move the crosses to at least one more Florida location, thanks to help from Bob Kwiecinski and Ron Hunkapiller.

Day 13 and Beyond

Even through some bad weather, Post 74 still gave this project the effort needed to ensure a great result!

We are not even halfway done and there are too many crosses. If you have looked around the website and are still not sure how you can help prevent veteran suicide, please give us a call at 734 726-4101 or send an email to

We received official word today that our next stop will be Saint Helen Catholic Church, Vero Beach, Florida.

Day 10

American Legion Post 74 in Rutherfordton, NC has had some unusual challenges but has performed well while overcoming them. First, there was (and is) much bad weather coming through. That not only makes the slope risky for the volunteers but could mess up the overall visual impact as well. Then there was the electrical problem with one of the power cords for the lights. As you can see from the photos below, Post 74 has done a great job getting up the first 220 crosses.

Rutherfordton NC Begins

With great help from American Legion Post 172 in Concord NC, we were able to pack up the crosses, lights, flags and equipment in record time: 2 hours. We had an easy drive two hours west to American Legion Post 74 in Rutherfordton NC.

Post 74 has the most unusual ground we have ever tried to prepare, but it is going to be awesome! The folks at Post 74, lead by Post Commander Marc Giamarino, will have to be mountain goats to place the flags the way we designed the layout because it is all on a steep slope facing a busy road. Vice Commander RV and Frank will lead the volunteer team with Marc.

We agreed with Post 74 to put in 44 crosses the first day and none the second because freezing snow and ice will make it too dangerous to be on the slope for day 2. Below is a picture after the fist day. As you can see, Post 74 is off to a great start and is well able to handle the work ahead!

Stay tuned for updates!

Day 30 at Concord

We have reached the end of the 30-day Veterans Suicide Awareness Campaign in Concord, NC. These pictures are from the day and night of the 30th day. We wish to thank American Legion Post 172 for their excellent work this past month. We especially are grateful for Brian Bloomfield, Post Commander.

Our next stop is Forest City, North Carolina where American Legion Post 74 will host us. Brian Bloomfield help to make this possible by helping Post 74 understand what is involved with being a host.

Our next stop after that is still being planned. We expect to be hosted by the Knights of Columbus in Vero Beach, Florida.

If you or your organization would like to host the 30-day Veterans Suicide Awareness Campaign, please contact us at or by text or cell to 734 726-4101.

We’re in North Carolina

American Legion Post 172 is hosting at its property in Concord, North Carolina.

The upper left shows Post Commander Brian Bloomfield’s twin sons Jeremy and Justin. The next picture was taken on the 3rd night. Next is after 8 days. The last one is after 19 days.

We will finish the 30 day installation process before Christmas and leave the crosses up until after Christmas. We’d like to thank Post 172 for doing such a great job!

If you would like to host us, please contact us. Email us at or text or call us at (734) 726-4101.

    Five Signs

    A friend recently highlighted for us that there are five signs of emotional stress that should trigger our action. They are:

    1. Significant change in personality
      • Agitation
      • Withdrawal
      • Decline in personal care
      • Hopelessness

      If you observe a veterans with even one of these signs, please ask them how they are doing. Don’t be afraid that you won’t know how to respond to their answer to that question. We are here to help. In an emergency, you can also get help from 911 or from 988.

      You can read on this website and elsewhere that there are other signs as well, such as a person giving away a lot of stuff. The five signs listed above seem to be more common early signs of stress. They happen before the veteran starts to give things away, for example.