After almost 18 years in the Marine Corps Grant Bourne was retired early for medical reasons. Having served as a helicopter mechanic, he told us: “he just felt lost”. Once retired he worked a couple of different jobs and traveled a bit in between. In 2017 he decided to once again attend the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. During this trip he realized how much he missed the road and could not wait to get back on the saddle again. Having struggles with mental and physical health issues and had been suicidal in the past, Grant decided to figure out a way to try to make the world a better place while filling the desire to travel and explore this Great Nation.
After trying therapy with mixed success he realized that his therapy was riding and helping others. Grant had only started riding at 31 years old, but in the last seven years Grant has ridden over 200,000 miles! The retired Gunnery Sergeant is indeed no stranger to the road!
Since retiring, Grant moved in with his girlfriend in Valley Center, California, and they recently celebrated their two-year anniversary this past July. After talking with each other and loved ones in their close circle, a plan started to be formed. On January first, with his girlfriends full support and the support of their families, Grant jumped on his 2018 Harley Davidson Road King to start a 100,000 mile journey to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention.
His goal? 10,000 miles per month to accomplish his goal by the end of this year and as of August 31st he has ridden over 82,000 miles, attended 16 American Foundation for Suicide Prevention events, and multiple motorcycle rallies all while spreading the word about how suicide is the tenth leading cause of death, yet 100% preventable.
“There is definitely a Spiritual connection that we all have” Grant said. After dealing with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder, I tried medication, I tried no medication but then I realized the best thing for me to do is: “FIND A PURPOSE IN THE WORLD AND DO IT.”
“Find your purpose” Grant continued, “life is hard enough as it is. Our kiddo is only nine years old and has already experienced bullying! Many kids are bullied between the ages of 14 and 25 and many contemplate suicide.” Grant continues his journey with the support of his family, friends, sponsors and individuals like you.
We asked Grant if he could recall of a time when he met someone that has stuck with him. He mentioned that he has met many amazing people that have come out on top from incredible situations. He then told us an amazing story about an incredibly strong individual he met at an AFSP walk in Florida. This gentleman told him how he had had a shotgun in his mouth, pulled the trigger and ended up causing massive damage to part of his face, yet he lived. After many surgeries, plenty of physical therapy, and continued mental health counseling he has been able to resume a new “normal” life. With his wife right by his side, they told Grant the story of stressors in life, along with bills, and work complications, he had decided to end his struggle. All of this was a daily battle in his head while his wife had no clue about what her husband had been feeling or battling in order to make it day to day.
In the end, the two had been healing and helping raise awareness by sharing their story with each other and encouraging others to seek help and to lean on one another when their families are struggling.
As I make my way across this beautiful country, I will be stopping at various motorcycle rallies and as many American Foundation for Suicide Prevention “Out Of Darkness” walks as possible. My goal is to show people that we can beat out suicide by replacing unhealthy habits with healthy ones, by talking about mental health challenges, and with love. Please join me in my journey so that together we can inspire each other to make a difference in this important and tragic cause. I want everyone to know that they are loved, they have value, and they have purpose. ~ Grant Bourne
You can follow Grant on his YouTube channel at the following: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwu-Y69hmk54_DbnUxZRjKg/videos
And you can also follow Grant on his Instagram and Facebook at the links below:
To know about Grant Bourne and Ride Out Of Darkness see the ad in this issue, go to one of the links above or the website below.