On Saturday evening, I sat thru a fantastic talk given by Justin Lee. Justin is former military that runs a foundation called Project UnBreakable and is alumni at my high school.
Justin talked about his struggles with mental illness, his dad’s suicide, being left by his mom at a young age and in turn, his own thoughts of taking his own life.
The moving talk captured the attention of everyone in the room as Justin paced the stage in obvious nervousness over speaking to the room.
As he discussed the days prior to his dad’s passing and the guilt over not being able to help, the expressions of his emotions at the time gripped even the young man next to me. The feeling of abandonment he held force by his mother leaving and his fathers suicide spoke volumes to this 19 year old young man.
That young man is my son. Due to some circumstances outside of his control, he has some of those same feelings. As Justin discussed his fears and anxieties, my son was moved beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Even as he avoided and deflected the listening, he still did and for a young man to hear the emotion within the words was truly motivating.
Justin’s story is filled with tragedy. He’s from a hometown that’s seen murder, death and more. His past impacted his reactions to situations but the end result is he stood proudly on that stage to openly discuss something very personal.
Justin Lee is an Inspiration in HIS field. As an elite military, that lost his position for his mental health, he’s UnBreakable about speaking out, sharing his story, encouraging conversations about mental health and helping others.
To assist Justin and his wife, Kim, to speak out and help others, please visit their website. They also have a private help line for military personnel and first responders.
Crisis Line: 385-405-5217
Justin spoke as part of a series called Behind the Mask brought to us by Lion Legacy and the hard work of Rhonda Kowalski. The series will discuss many difficult topics of discussion, including sexual abuse, discrimination and much more. Follow the link to the Facebook page for updates and future live feed videos.