22 horses will be part of a special entry in Peoria’s Labor Day Parade Monday.
Central Illinois Gold Star Families, those who have lost a loved one serving in the military, hope it will bring awareness about military suicides.
Each horse will be adorned with an American flag and two pictures.
“It’s in honor and in remembrance of the 22 veterans that take their lives every day,” said Gail Rush, who lost her daughter, Staff Sargent Courtney Jo Rush, to suicide several years ago while serving in the Air Force.
She believes one of the reasons there are so many military suicides is that the military spends so much time preparing men and women to deploy and do their jobs, and to be tough on the outside.
“And, when they come home, they don’t take enough time to reacclimate them to be civilians,” said Rush.
She says her mission now is to help prevent other military suicides from happening.
Rush says the first 5 horse in the parade entry on Labor Day will be carrying pictures of fallen veterans from Central Illinois.
The entry will be the second to last in the parade which begins Monday at 10:00 a.m. at Monroe and Hancock Streets in downtown Peoria.