I lost my best friend, Jerry, in March to suicide and since it’s been tough. At first I had trouble concentrating at work, would break down crying randomly, lost a little bit of drive..it was hard. After a few months I began to heal, and began to see the best in Jerry and I’s relationship. Our memories bring me so much joy.
So what does this have to do with RWB DOGTAGS? Good question, glad you asked. Jerry’s favorite things in this world were baseball, country music, whiskey & beer…and most importantly dogs. Any dog we walked past he HAD to take a knee and give them some love. So I wanted to find an organization that I believe he would support but was also geared towards suicide prevention, and found yours. I love what you’ve started, what I read from your site and would like to support it.
In January I’m signing up for a Winter Alcatraz swim, should be loads of fun (im a swimmer..so don’t worry I will survive) and using the event as a way to raise money for your organization. My goal is $1,000 in 2 months.
All in all, I wanted to connect my story to you and let you know where I am coming from and why. I appreciate your time and again thank you for reaching out, means a lot.
This is the Go Fund Me campaign written by Pete:
Hey there I'm Pete. I'd like to take moment to tell you about my best friend Jerry Bogard.
In 2009, we met at a house party in San Luis Obispo (SLO). We both attended Cal Poly. That night we had some drinks, laughed and smiled...and made what my mom would call "great" decisions. Neither of us knowing that soon after we'd become coworkers, friends and "bros for life".
Jerry and I began working together a few months after the initial meet, as part of the Cal Poly Agricultural Operations (Ag Ops) team. This is where our friendship began to blossom. The next 2+ years were full of fixing farm equipment, cleaning horse / cow shit off farm equipment...then fixing it, welding, breaking, frustration, learning, teaching but most importantly developing. Developing, skills, friendship, compassion, drive, and goals. Jerry had goals, big goals. He was wiser beyond his years. At 21 you would have thought he was in his early 30's, not only because of that kickass beard, but because of the way he presented himself and spoke. He spoke honestly and accurately; and in a caring but direct way. The best part, is that he inspired me and I looked up to him. I felt the drive to do better, be better, act better, care better...all of this from coming from a random party, crazy right??
But on March 4th, 2016 Jerry took his life. It's a day I'll never forget. I lost my best friend, my buddy, my brother. I lost that smile, that hearty laugh, that bear hug he'd give me. I can honestly look back the choices I made in life and know that they were the right ones because it led to a wonderful friendship with Jerry and I will cherish it forever. If you know me, you know him because I wouldn't be who I am today without that goofball in my life.
The money raised here will be donated to RWB Dog TAGS. I found RWB Dog TAGS and instantly clicked with the organization. Jerry, like myself, loved dogs. This particular non-profit organization raises money to provide support for people (specifically veterans) who, like Jerry, suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts or PTSD. RWB Dog TAGS rescues, trains and pairs pups with veterans. Though Jerry is not a veteran, I know this is an organization he'd support.