'We want to show them that there are people that care': Aiken Out of the Darkness Walk happening Sunday

Friday, Nov. 8, 2019
News 12 This Morning

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Hundreds of people will gather in Aiken this weekend for the Out of the Darkness Walk to raise awareness and help prevent suicide.

"He was in a tank in Iraq when this picture was taken," the Tullis family speaks from experience when it comes to grief after a suicide.

Two years ago, Jennifer Tullis lost her big brother. Her mother Rose lost a son.

"He wanted to be tough, he wanted to be strong. He was the first one to offer help, the last one to ask for it," Rose said.

They say Travis Tullis was suffering from PTSD, but they never knew it.

"He never showed us he was struggling at all, ever.

The day Travis took his own life, he had gone to the VA. His mom says they took too long to help him, so he walked out. When his family found out what had happened, they were shocked.

"Ten minutes after he left, they looked at his triage papers. Ten minutes after he left. He wrote on there, 'I almost shot myself.' Somebody should have looked at his triage sheet and treated that like a life-threatening emergency."

Before Travis passed he was raising awareness for veteran suicide. Now his mom and sister picked up the fight and are doing the same in his honor, by participating in the Out of the Darkness Walk for the third year in a row.

"I want us to be out there by the numbers because we want to show them that there are people that care. There are people there they can reach out too."

They also want to help veterans get better healthcare so they don't wait as Travis did.

"They need to have better care for them. They shouldn't have to wait and wait to go to the doctor, they should be able to get an appointment. They should have the best of car. They went over there and fought and laid their life on the line for all of us."

Now the Tullises cling to their memories of travis.

"The world is brightened because he existed."

They hope to keep others from going through the pain that they have.

If you want to participate in the Out of the Darkness Walk, it's happening this Sunday, Nov. 10th, from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. At the Odell Weeks Activity Center.

If you know anyone that's struggling, click here for some information on how to help.

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