Sean MacMillen is a combat veteran who did three tours of service in Afghanistan. Upon leaving the service, he found that he had great difficulty readjusting to civilian life. This led to many problems for him. “I fully admit I struggled to reintegrate into society when I returned from my 3rd tour in Afghanistan. I
Sean MacMillen is a combat veteran who did three tours of service in Afghanistan. Upon leaving the service, he found that he had great difficulty readjusting to civilian life. This led to many problems for him.
“I fully admit I struggled to reintegrate into society when I returned from my 3rd tour in Afghanistan. I didn’t want to admit that I have any mental health issues and just drowned everything in alcohol,” MacMillen told Webb Weekly. “That eventually cost me my Army career and eventually led to losing another job, home, family, trust, respect — you name it. Eventually, I spent 11 months in prison and came out weighing 240 pounds, riddled with depression, anxiety. Bottom line is, I didn’t want to die and didn’t want to live. Fortunately, with the help of a lot of people, I got my life back on track. Now I work as a therapist and am active in the recovery community.”
Because of his gratitude for what had been done to help his mental health, he wanted to give back and do what he could to help other veterans with their mental health problems and challenges. It is with this in mind that he decided to engage in a unique fundraiser to benefit the Herren Project, and the Lycoming County Veterans Treatment Court, which will be inaugurated in January 2019.
“This Veterans Day, I will take on the challenge of running on a treadmill for 24 hours at Planet Fitness in Williamsport. I will start running at 11 a.m. on November 10th and end at 11 a.m. on November 11th at the local Planet Fitness,” MacMillen said. “The significance of ending at 11 a.m. on November 11 is that it will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and has become the holiday we know as Veterans Day.”
The Herren Project that MacMillen is seeking to benefit is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established in 2011 by former NBA basketball player, Chris Herren, to assist individuals and families struggling with addiction. The Herren Project provides resources and support for individuals and families seeking recovery from addiction through treatment navigation, virtual support groups, mentoring and recovery coaching, preventative education, and scholarships.
“I am truly grateful for programs like The Herren Project because that is how I got into treatment,” MacMillen said.
He hopes that events like the Treadmill-A-Thon will also serve to raise awareness, to show recovery is possible, to help break the stigma surrounded mental health and substance abuse disorders.
On hand during this event will be Mat Teachey, a Navy Veteran and Jersey Shore resident will be on hand to sign his book “Broken to be Healed.” All the proceeds will go to the Lycoming County Veterans Treatment Court. On Sunday, November 11 “Amazing Grace” will be played on the bagpipes.
- January 16, 2019