Transitioning from the Armed Forces to regular life can be difficult for many, which is why Floral Park resident Louis Moore and his family started their nonprofit organization Suit A Soldier to help those ease back into their normal lives.
“People face a lot of costs when they leave the military and many don’t have the support of their families,” said Louis’ mother Linda. “I had known that 21 veterans commit suicide every day and as a mother, I was very troubled by this. After doing some research, we were surprised to learn that most suicides were not a result of simply serving in the military. The difficulty transitioning and repeated rejections from employers cause many to isolate [themselves], which can lead to depression or self-medication. That path never ends well, military or not.”
According to Linda, the goal of Suit A Soldier is to stop as many veterans as humanly possible from being part of that heartbreaking statistic.
“My sister is a marine and we’re very tuned into her life and what she’s up to,” explained Louis. “We noticed that she’s constantly moving and as a result of that she has very few personal belongings. She’s currently at the backend of her enlistment and she’s going to be getting out soon and we were noticing how it’s going to be a huge adjustment for her in finding a place to live and find a job, and all the other costs that come with that. So basically what we wanted to try and do was lighten the load because if some people end up getting unlucky and are not be able to find a job, they can definitely spiral down a dark path.”
The way Louis and his family want to help former soldiers is by helping them find a job, prepare them for interviews and give them a new suit, giving them a confidence boost.
“Other charities do help them [soldiers] find a new job and everything like that, which is great, but they don’t give them new suits, they’ll give them used suits,” explained Louis, who is also a junior at Chaminade High School. “We just wanted to raise the status quo on that.”
According to the Moore family, a fundraiser to help these soldiers at Chaminade High School in Mineola is also in the works.
“Nothing is set in stone as of yet and we’re still kind of planning everything, but basically the plan is essentially to have people donate a certain amount [of money] to have a flag dedicated to a past or present serviceman or woman,” said Louis. “We would have the flags hang on the fences around Chaminade’s football field at Gold Star Stadium.”
Suit A Soldier went live three weeks ago and is currently in the fundraising stage. If you would like to donate and help, visit www.suitasoldier.com and click the donate button to donate through PayPal.