We are humbled to have Guy McDermott, Glendale firefighter and Lt. USN SEAL (Ret) as our keynote speaker for the opening ceremony of The Watch on September 13. We hope you will read his personal letter (below) regarding why he is committed to this event.
To my fellow community members,
My name is Guy McDermott, and I am a firefighter with the city of Glendale and a retired Navy SEAL with multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Part of my post retirement therapy and passion has been to serve my fellow veterans. Since 2001, veterans have served valiantly in the fight against terrorism, but not without a significant cost to their mental and physical health, such as post traumatic stress, combat related deaths, loss of limbs, and Veteran suicide.
As you are aware, Veteran suicide continues at a rate that is without a question, unacceptable. This didn’t hit more at home until a good friend and fellow Navy SEAL teammate killed himself last year. This death was unimaginable and was totally unexpected. How can someone that is mentally strong enough to withstand the toughest military training in the world, decide that he isn’t mentally strong enough to spare his own life.
I am writing you today in hope that you would be willing to join me in standing watch at this year’s “Not on our Watch” vigil held in Glendale from September 13-15 via sponsorship and/ or participation. “Not on our Watch” was created with the purpose of raising awareness regarding the 22 veterans that commit suicide daily. Personally, this vigil is an opportunity for me to help remember my fallen friend while at the same time raise funds to support those veterans in dire need. Regardless of your reason for “joining the watch”, I look forward to standing beside you during your watch.
Respectfully, Guy McDermott Lt. USN SEAL (Ret)