Story and photo by Cadet Deja Micou
Moanalua High School Air Force JROTC
More than 60 cadets from Moanalua High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Hawaii Chapter’s Out of the Darkness Walk held Sept. 9, at Ala Moana Beach Park.
The annual event promotes public awareness of suicide prevention. When these walks first started, only a few participants came out to support suicide prevention, but they were the grassroots that sparked a movement that gains momentum each year.
AFJROTC cadets from Moanalua have contributed to this annual event over the past three years.
Last year, Cadets Abigail and Felicity Horan spearheaded a fundraiser with fellow cadets and presented a $1,000 check from Moanalua AFJROTC cadets.
The young leaders said that being a part of the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walks these past three years has been an extraordinary experience.
They listened and learned about different people’s unique stories and how they overcame their own personal challenges.”
Cadet Jenna Miller’s participation in the Sept. 9 walk included holding up a sign of encouragement high in the air throughout the entire walk.
“I held the sign so high because the event was more than the awareness of suicide prevention, but also a memorial for those we lost to suicide. I’ve lost a couple of friends to suicide, and this event was a way to honor those who lost the battle to depression. People often feel lost or depressed. This event helps demonstrate that people do care,” Miller said.
Cadet Hula Crisostomo said she was also very passionate about the event.
“I came because it was raising awareness for suicide prevention. Suicide is not just a word. Suicide is someone taking their own life because they lost all hope, see no future, and can not find a purpose in life,” Crisostomo said.
“Suicide is a tragic end to the cries for help that have gone unanswered. I have dealt with depression and anxiety and I am still living with it today, but I know I am not alone. I know I have a loving community and support system that will guide me out of the darkness and into the light,” Crisostomo added.
The cadets said that because suicide is one of the leading killers of adolescents in Hawaii, they feel it is their responsibility as a community to shine a light for those who feel lost.
Source : http://www.hookelenews.com/cadets-help-people-walk-out-of-darkness/