Nutmeg Technologies is teaming up with the Peter P. Monaco, Jr. Detachment 40 group to help prevent veteran suicide.
The South Windsor company's philanthropic committee, Nutmeg Cares, is helping further the detachment's mission.
"I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with the Peter P. Monaco Detachment 40 group and to help them make an impact in the communities they serve, as well as help to combat veteran suicide," Nutmeg Technologies Director of Sales and Marketing Faith Zeller said.
Zeller is a key partner in the project and is helping to promote the upcoming Hike V and the family fun event following the hike, on May 20.
The Peter P. Monaco, Jr. Detachment 40 Group Hike V is open to veterans and active duty members who will hike 22 km. (13 miles) in honor of those who have died from veteran suicide. The hike will begin at 4 a.m. Hikers will meet at St. Paul's Church Commuter Lot, 2577 Main St., Glastonbury, CT. The cost to participate is $25 and after April 20, the cost will be $40.
"The 22k is for the amount of veterans, 22, that kill themselves a day," Peter P. Monaco, Jr. Detachment 40 Sgt. At Arms Michael Monaco said.
The detachment is named after Monaco's uncle, who was killed in Korea.
Following the hike, a family event for the public, also on May 20, will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Riverfront Community Center, 300 Welles St, Glastonbury, CT. The event will feature live music, face painting, bounce houses, a kids fun run, food trucks, fitness workshops, and more. Entry is $5.
One of Nutmeg's three areas of concern for the Nutmeg Cares program is veteran issues, along with women and children and education. The company has donated to causes for years, but only recently decided to create a formal giving program.
The committee voted as a whole to decide which areas the program would focus on, Zeller said.
"It was really where all of our heart strings were pulled and those seem to be the top three areas," Zeller added.
After the detachment's building burned down in 2006, there were only five members. Today there are over 100. Detachment 40 consists of 50 percent Marines and the other half is made up of the remaining armed forces, said Monaco, who joined the Marine Corps in 2003.
Nutmeg and the Detachment 40 group were connected through mutual contacts. The partnership was a perfect fit for the company, because COO Jeremy Smith and others at the company have connections with veterans and two veterans are employed at the company.
"Those two individuals are probably some of the most disciplined, hardworking, professional, courteous people we employee," Smith said. "We understand some of the struggles that veterans go through, even from job placement, and it can be difficult and we see the strengths of the veterans that have served our countries."
Smith added the company does all it can to help veterans, and even gives veterans a paid day off for Veteran's Day. Smith has family members that served in Vietnam, so he knows firsthand how veterans are affected, he said.
"I think it's important to give back and really recognize what people have done for the country," Smith
Monaco said that the detachment has taken a stance against veteran suicide among all age groups.
"It's been guys still in their 50s and some of the Vietnam guys, too. It really affects so many," Monaco said.
The detachment also helps veterans' families.
"They have children, have to pay a mortgage, have to buy groceries, and we want to be able to help," Monaco said.
To register for the Hike V or the fun event following the hike, or to donate to Detachment 40, visit www.mcldet40.org.