Working for the ROTC at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Tech. Sgt. Jim Lewis interacts with active-duty service members and veterans as well as new recruits. He started to see a pattern among some of the veterans he met; too many of them who suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were not being treated for their mental health, even while their physical injuries were being addressed. Too often, veterans battle their demons in silence, never seeking help.
Lewis decided to do something to bring this issue into public notice. He started a clothing line called The Silent Battle, and donates a portion of the proceeds of each purchase to the nonprofit 23rd Veteran organization in Duluth. 23rd Veteran provides a long-term transition process for veterans with PTSD to help them lead successful lives.
The Silent Battle clothing line includes 100 percent boreal wool hats, jackets and vests. The jacket and vest feature polyester liners for comfort, and the hat has a fleece lining. A hooded 70/30 wool-blend jacket is also available. A T-shirt and pullover sweatshirt will be available later in 2017.
Lewis worked in detail with local company West Duluth Sewing and Design to create and produce the designs. Each item features a distinctive emblem of The Silent Battle to open up conversation and increase awareness of PTSD.