MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project (TCDJHP) will team up with the Shepherd's Men this week to honor its founder in a 15-mile march.
The Shepherd's Men is an organization focusing on outreach, empowerment and the funding of treatment for veterans who have been affected by war.
Every spring, the Shepherd's Men organizes a multi-city event where participants run, march and swim to bring awareness to veteran suicides.
“We run for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives, for our brothers and sisters who are still fighting long after leaving the battlefield and for our brothers and sisters who have not yet returned home,” said Travis Ellis, Shepherd’s Men cofounder. “We will not rest until the number of lives lost every day to suicide goes from 22 to zero. Our veterans deserve to live meaningful, gratifying lives with their families after their courageous service to our country.”
This year, on May 27, participants in the Middle Tennessee stop will wear 83 pounds of weight to represent Daniels' 83 years of life.
The 15-mile march will begin at 9 a.m. at Daniels' grave in Mt. Juliet and will end at Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon.
"Veteran suicides were a critical concern to Charlie, and just a few weeks before he passed, we agreed that this issue should become a major priority within our overall mission," said David Corlew, TCDJHP cofounder and Daniels' longtime manager. "He believed so much in the Sheperd's Men's work, so this is an epic way of honoring Charlie and continuing his mission of saving lives."
Daniels' wife Hazel Daniels will be in attendance at the gravesite. At the conclusion of the march, there will be a free public reception at Sammy B's restaurant in Lebanon with a performance by Darryl Worley. This will begin at approximately 2 p.m.