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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Heykoop Veteran Memorial Car Show and Benefit July 8th in Muskegon

I am a big supporter of anyone who can take a tragedy and turn it in to something amazing and when I heard from Natasha Heykoop about a car show she was putting on to help raise awareness and a few bucks to help veteran suicide awareness and prevention I thought there might be a little more to the story.

So, I agreed to meet up with her to hear a little more about it and her reason for putting it on and what I found was a touching story of someone wanting a better outcome for others than she had.

Natasha lost her brother to suicide after his time in the service.  It's something that we're all becoming painfully aware of as it's happening more and more every day.  They say, that there are 22 soldiers a day taking their own lives due to the repercussions of war and the PTSD that follows.  You may have seen the 22 push up challenge on your social media feeds.  You've seen how some have gone on long runs to raise awareness about the issue and there are those too who sit and silently suffer with the never ending replay in their own mind.  It's a hell I don't think I could even imagine.  For Natasha and her family, it's left a pretty empty spot in their lives.
Heykoop Car Show On Facebook

In the wake of the loss however, like many others, Natasha wants to do what she can to protect others from having to live through what she is.  Education, awareness and even just the knowledge out there that if there is a hand to reach out for to ask for help, our soldiers can do just that.  Men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice should never have to come home to a life of suffering and anguish.  If they need help, it should be immediate and without question and of course that takes some help from all of us.

Turning a tragedy into a triumph doesn't have to be a downer.  In fact, with Natasha's brother's love of cars, they thought that there would be no better way to honor his memory than with a car show.  The car show will take place at 3500 S. Getty in Muskegon July 8th.  You'll find plenty of cars, food, music, raffles, a silent auction and more.  You'll also find the spirit of a family wanting to make sure that their loss isn't experienced by another family.  It's a first year event on a piece of property that was once celery fields, right out behind Babbit's Sports Center on the corner of Airline and Getty.  That's where I met up with Natasha to talk about the event.  Take a listen.

I can't imagine the pain, but..I also can't imagine sitting there and doing nothing.  I am so proud that Natasha trusted Positively Muskegon to tell this very personal and very touching story.  I hope from the very bottom of my heart that something like this never has to happen again, but I also am willing to bet we have not seen the last of the losses when it comes to our nations greatest hero's and their struggles post war.  The best we can do is be there for them and support grass roots efforts like Natasha's car show.  Please, find a few minutes in your Saturday to stop by and offer your support to this wonderful family.  This is exactly why Positively Muskegon was started and we're honored to have Natasha here sharing her desire to make our world a better place.

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