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Public Release – ARKANSAS PUNISHERS LEMC, 7th SONS CHAPTER
LOCAL BIKERS MEET WITH ORGANIZATION TO HELP HEROES
Several leather clad bikers appeared at the Arkansas State Capitol over the weekend with one goal in mind…to help an local organization dedicated to providing aid to Arkansas Emergency Service Personnel suffering from PTSD and depression.
The 7th Sons Chapter of the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, based in White County, and members of Heroes Behind The Line met in the Governor’s conference room Saturday where they discussed issues that affect those who serve, or have served, communities throughout the state. During the meeting, the 7th Sons Chapter presented Heroes Behind the Line with a check to assist in their mission to provide counseling, service animals, training, and other much needed services to those who otherwise would not receive help. Prior to the presentation, Governor Asa Hutchinson arrived to meet with both groups and to answer questions.
The 7th Sons Chapter, which was founded in 2016 on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, selected Heroes Behind the Line as their September charity due to the organization’s mission to aid current or former First Responders in need. “September is a very significant month for our community.” Stated Bill Rayner, Chapter President of the Motorcycle Club whose membership primarily consists of law enforcement, military, firefighters and other EMS professionals. “Not only do we remember those who lost their lives during the attacks on 9/11, but September is also recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month, both of which heavily relate to Emergency Service Professionals.” Rayner went on to say, “When we learned about this organization, and the good they are doing for these men and women, it was a no-brainer…we knew we had to help.”
Mike Brewer is the Motorcycle Club’s Vice President and also serves as Head Commissioner for Arch Street Fire Department in Little Rock. “I have personally witnessed the type of stress that these men and women have to endure after a bad call, and it is something that you just don’t shake off…not without help.”
Heroes Behind The Line was founded in July of 2018 with the mission to raise awareness and to assist current and former First Responders who couldn’t find the help they needed elsewhere. One of the organization’s primary goals is to urge Arkansas legislators to pass a law that would protect First Responders from the risk of losing their jobs when seeking treatment for PTSD and other related illnesses. Heroes Behind The Line also partners with other specialized agencies to provide services such as career training and counseling.
Co-Founder Cody Jones is currently employed with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office in Benton. According to Jones, “First Responders experience mental trauma similar to Soldiers who have served in combat. Many of them have worked scenes that most people can’t even imagine…some too many times to count.” Jones went on to say, “But unlike with our veterans, there are unfortunately very few services available to help Emergency Service workers, and once they retire or leave the job, there are virtually none.”
Travis Browning, who is also a co-founder of the organization, is employed with the Grant County Sheriff’s Office in Sheridan. In addition to his full-time duties, Browning also serves as a volunteer firefighter, and an EMT with LifeNet in Hot Springs. “We came together to help support and save the lives of those weary from saving the lives of others.” stated Browning. “The heroes that stand behind the Thin Blue Line, The Thin Red Line, and the Thin White Line deserve to be better recognized and helped, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure that they are.”
Heroes Behind The Line provides services to First Responders throughout the state. If you are a current or former Emergency Service Professional who needs help, or if you would like more information about Heroes Behind The Line, call (870) 917-4367, (501) 317-7457, or visit www.facebook.com/HeroesBehindTheLine
If you need immediate assistance, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.