Letter From Our Founder & CEO
I’d like to remind everyone that the United States Military are the Minority that Protects the Majority. Yet, our veterans are dying at an alarming rate to the preventable epidemic of suicide. LCpl Janos “Johnny” V Lutz was a United States Marine who honorably served in Iraq & Afghanistan, returned home and died at the hands of the VA. Sadly, Johnny’s story is one that can be told over and over again. Veteran returns home, receives malpractice from the VA and dies as a result of it.
Since losing my son to prescribed medications in 2013 I have become the voice for our veterans. In seeking answers, I filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the VA, and I prevailed. The VA did in fact kill my son. Johnny did not want to die by suicide, the medication caused suicidal ideations and the additional prescriptions provided the means. The settlement from the United States government of my case absolutely validates every veteran that has lost their life, is incarcerated, separated from family, or on the zombie dope thinking their lives are over, because of prescribed pharmaceuticals.
I have made it my mission to advocate for change and ultimately save lives. Through my organization the LCpl Janos V Lutz Live To Tell Foundation a 501c3, we have developed a multifaceted approach to addressing the obstacles our veterans face with an ever growing safety net for our Military and First Responders. In addition to the many other initiatives of Advocacy and Awareness, Training and Community Building, Lutz Buddy Up is a social club that has been operating since March of 2014. In 2017 we became inclusive of First Responders as they share the common bond of service and sacrifice to our country. Military and First Responders connect on a local level providing the peer to peer comradery that is often lost after service. Swapping stories, connecting with their community and bonding with brothers and sisters that they never knew they had. This is what Buddy Up is all about.
With veterans ranging from the Korean War to present day theaters of war and first responders across all municipalities, we are strengthening communities and expanding our safety net for military and first responders. Lutz Live To Tell is providing solutions to real life matters.
With more than 150,000 veteran suicides, and the rising suicide rate of first responders, something needs to change NOW! I know now that I must share what I have learned from losing a life that was most precious to me with others to prevent additional unnecessary losses. The ripple effect that too often occurs when one dies by suicide also caused the loss of my other son, Johnny’s younger brother, Justin to end his life. Families need to be aware of the triggers and warning signs of PTS so that they can better support their loved ones. I truly believe with all that I am that we can stop this epidemic but I can’t do it alone.
Just as my story is told I need others to tell theirs. #IwasLutz is a campaign that collects and shares stories providing a voice for veterans and their families to advocate for VA Reform. These stories also serve as an educational tool to other families whose loved ones are being overmedicated and are unaware of the deadly side effects these drugs cause or are looking for alternatives. VA reform will take years to achieve but right now we, meaning my military families, are the only ones who can truly help each other.
Together We Will~Mama Lutz