Eric Peterson scrolled through his Facebook feed when a familiar face stared back at him. His friend John, a veteran he served alongside in Iraq, killed himself.

The memories hit Peterson like a hurricane. He closed his eyes and remembered the jam sessions he and John would have with their broken guitars overseas — the moments that made him feel like he wasn’t fighting a war in Baghdad.

His heart started to race with his emotions. A workout session at a gym couldn’t drown out the pain. He couldn’t stop driving as he tried to get back to his hotel.

Eric Peterson

Eric Peterson, founder of Project Headspace and Timing, a nonprofit that supports veterans adjust to civilian life, talks to his friend, Ray Olley, last fall. Peterson’s nonprofit raised $20,000 through the first “Heroes, Hogs and Hot Rods” festival to eventually build tiny homes for homeless veterans.

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