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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Sep 05, 2017

Jersey Shore Walk for Unbroken Warriors to Conclude in Sea Bright

By Lori Draz

Left to right: Brian Zarnowski, Ed Martinez, Christine Dowens, Michael Dowens, Chris Natale, and Matt Menosky show their support for Unbroken Warriors and PTSD treatment for veterans.

Every day, 22 U.S. military veterans commit suicide after suffering from the effects of Post-Dramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Michael Dowens was almost one of them. This brave Navy veteran nearly took his own life and would have left a small child and wife behind. He was fortunate enough to get the help he needed and is now a Holmdel Police Officer. Recognizing, and grateful for, the vital services he received, he also established Unbroken Warriors to help provide funding for veterans’ residential treatment for PTSD. This month, he and other supporters are raising awareness and funds for his brothers and sisters in arms at the Jersey Shore Walk, being held on September 29 and 30.

The nonstop walk will begin in the late afternoon on Friday, September 29 in South Seaside Heights and will finish approximately 19 hours later in Sea Bright. The borough will have their firetrucks out and are planning on hanging flag banners on the new streetlamps. The library will be playing patriotic music, and well-wishers are invited to herald Officer Dowens’ arrival at the finish line.

Sea Bright Police Chief John Sorrentino is working with the PBA, Councilman Jack Keeler is working with local VFWs and inviting veterans to welcome Michael Dowens as he concludes his walk, and plans are in the works for a post-event reception. If you would like to be involved in the Sea Bright conclusion event, please check www.visitseabright.com or email Nova Boutique at novaboutiquenj@verizon.net.

If you would like to join in the walk, just bring a cash or check donation of $22 (signifying the 22 daily veteran suicides) and join the walkers anywhere along the route. Walk as long as you wish. The walk will stop at and pass by a number of sponsoring businesses. To learn more about the route and times, look for the Jersey Shore Walk after September 16 on Facebook and Instagram.

Lifesaving residential PTSD treatment for a veteran can cost up to $1,800 a day, and many suffer and die in silence. Join in the fight to raise awareness and get our heroes the help they so richly deserve. To get involved, contact event coordinator Donna Erskine at donnaerskine@yahoo.com or (908) 337-7748, or contact Michael and Christine Dowens at mdowens@holmdelpolice.org or (908) 601-2673.