Navy veteran and three-time suicide attempt survivor Daniel Hurd aka Lt. Dan has taken on a new mission – to raise suicide awareness and change the stigma.
Hurd is currently in Fremont County pedaling north to keep his movement going as he heads to his 41st state, Montana.
Currently, he is 2.5 years and ~16,000 miles into the planned 3-year and ~25,000-mile bicycle journey in the lower 48 that began in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
“I was planning a fourth attempt when a friend got me on a bicycle,” Hurd shared with County 10. “Several rides later it started to change my thought and my life.”
Eight months after this life change began, his therapist recommended he reconnect with veteran friends. They are spread out across 35 states, and it would take going through 42 states to get to them all. “So, what’s another 6?” Hurd chuckled. “This was a mission to reconnect with myself and get my life back on track.”
As his journey progressed, he became more comfortable telling his story. “I felt ashamed to tell people about it,” he explained. As his sharing comfort level grew, and the realization that there are a lot of others out there struggling with suicide, he became a public speaker before things began shutting down due to COVID earlier this year. “It’s to tell our story, not just my story.”
Hurd has had a total of 77 suicide interventions along his journey. 18 of those have been since COVID, Hurd shared. He attributes that higher number to the increased difficulties folks are dealing with right now.
I try to live one day at a time, but sometimes it is just one pedal at a time or one step at a time.-Daniel Hurd
The COVID shutdown gave him time to focus on his nonprofit, One Pedal At A Time Movement. Hurd is doing this journey without any kind of funding, but through the donations and support of the communities he visits. Donations can be made on his nonprofit website. The website also lists suicide resources for those struggling, as well as, an online course for those who want to help.
You can follow his cross-country journey by clicking here.
Hurd ended our interview with a final thought, “be willing to listen and be willing to talk about it.”
Wyoming’s first-ever suicide helpline opened last week. Residents in need of assistance can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.