The Battle Within Foundation
A tribute to those we will always carry
and to those we can no longer hold
At the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park on a peaceful, grass-covered hill framed by blooming cherry trees, now
sits a striking monument. It is designed to bring awareness of an issue ravaging our country – an issue that until recently, was
only discussed in hushed tones behind closed doors. American service members, who have spent years feeling the weight of a
judgmental society and battled emotions that they are trained to push down and ignore, have discovered a peaceful place, free of social stigma, to talk,remember, and begin to heal.
Widows who have never been able to take their children to a public place of honor and show them that their fathers died for their
freedom, as American heroes, can now do so.
In the past 40+ years, since the end of the Vietnam War, we have lost more American heroes due to suicide from PTSD than all
foreign wars and conflicts in that period combined. Despite the very best efforts of family, friends,the Va, and scores of highly
dedicated veteran’s-based organizations, approximately 20 veterans each day are lost to us due these wounds and injuries we
That’s 7,300 brave men and women a year who volunteered and stood on the yellow footprints where they swore an oath to
protect and defend our country. They proved this commitment, many seeing and experiencing the unimaginable in our name.
Unfortunately, they made it through one war, only to come home to fight another.
After losing one of our members due to PTSD, the Brothers of the Erie Masonic District, led by harmonie lodge, no. 699 O.M., banded together to make this their personal cause.
On Memorial Day, May 27, 2019, The Battle Within Foundation unveiled and dedicated The Battle Within Memorial. In front of the
memorial is a bench with a placard that simply says, “Let’s Talk.” Only through willingness to open up and discuss what we’re
facing in our communities can healing start to take hold.
It is our sincerest goal that The Battle Within Memorial will help to capture the public's attention, underscore the veteran community’s
commitment to easing the suffering, and honor our heroes for their service, regardless of where they died.
To get involved in The Battle Within Foundation’s mission, to learn more, or to make a financial contribution, visit
The foundation will continue beyond 2019, fighting against the stigmas of PTSD and suicide and connecting veterans in need with
the care they so rightly deserve.