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Honor the fallen by living — Taking the Hire Road

Waypoint Vets provides opportunities to heal through camaraderie and no-cost adventures

In this week’s episode of Taking the Hire Road, host Jeremy Reymer, founder and CEO of DriverReach, is joined by Sarah Lee, a combat veteran and founder of Waypoint Vets. 

After returning home from active military duty, Lee found herself filling each day with activities to keep her mind off of events she witnessed during her service.

“I kept myself as busy as I could. I pursued three degrees, started a photography business — anything I could do to fill the days,” she said. “When I would slow down, I could feel it all catching up with me, including guilt from deployment.”

After many sleepless nights and an attempt on her own life, Lee realized she needed to begin a journey toward healing.

“I bought a bicycle the next day. I set out to bike from Yorktown, Virginia, to San Francisco, California — 4,000 miles, fully funded by myself,” Lee added. “I couldn’t believe what I gained from this trip. This became a healthy outlet for me. At that point, I knew I needed to give from what I gained.”

The empowerment she felt from this cross-country journey sparked the idea to create the charity Waypoint Vets in 2019.

Waypoint Vets, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, exists with the sole mission of bringing together and empowering veterans through no-cost activities and adventure designed to combat things like post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation. 

Lee added that many soldiers feel alienated, hopeless and often suffer physical injuries after returning home. Despite their battles, mental and physical, they often have a hard time reaching out and articulating their needs, making it hard for them to receive the help and healing they need.

Waypoint provides veterans an outlet and camaraderie in shared experiences, creating opportunities for healing and the ability to live life to the fullest.

“I was not living a life worthy of my [fellow soldiers’] sacrifices. And when I dipped my bike tires into the Pacific Ocean, I felt like I had honored them,” Lee said. “I wasn’t living life to the fullest before, now I am. We can honor the fallen simply by living fully on their behalf.”

Click for more FreightWaves content by Britni Chisenall.

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Britni Chisenall

Britni Chisenall is a sponsored content writer for FreightWaves. She lives in Ooltewah, TN with her husband, Garrett and her cat, Lily. Britni is a graduate of Dalton State College.