Project Aston aims to give support to struggling East Texas veterans after loss of local veteran

Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 1:53 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Twenty two. That’s the number of veterans who die every day by their own hand.

Lufkin’s own Aston Lee is one of those veterans. He completed three tours in Iraq as a U.S. marine, but when he returned home he faced a different kind of enemy.

“They fight these wars overseas and they come home where they should be able to wind down and do some kind of normalcy but they cant,” Amber Page, Lee’s girlfriend, said. “They’ve been rebooted a certain kind of way where they don’t know how to live.”

After the loss of Lee, Page wanted to bring increased awareness to the issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and worked to create Project Aston. The intent is to bring veterans together with music, food and more while raising money for Mission 22, a national organization that supports soldiers with PTSD.

“I got a few of my friends together to create this benefit to not only get the message across about a local veteran tragically taking his own life, but his other fallen brothers and sisters as well,” Page said. “This happens every day.”

After hearing about what Page was wanting to do, local business 58 Junction offered their venue free of charge.

“These guys and ladies sacrifice so much for our freedom and our country,” Jessica Anthony, owner of 58 Junction, said. “As soon as I found out he was a marine I was like ‘absolutely.’ I’ve got it. You just tell me when and I’ll make it work.”

While Lee is the catalyst of the event, the benefit hopes his story can help others in his situation.

“The sole purpose for this benefit is to reach one person,” Page said. “I want local veterans to know you are not alone.”

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