Jeff Paradis was the kind of guy you either knew, or you felt silly for not knowing him because everyone around you seemed to. I had only interacted with him a handful of times back when I worked in the service industry. Those interactions always consisted of Jeff cracking jokes and making everyone smile.

I eventually learned of his work helping and advocating for veterans, Paradis having served in the Army himself.

It was clear Paradis found his life's passion in his advocacy work. The harsh reality of the struggle of veterans returning to civilian life clearly weighed heavily on his heart and in his life in a video he made that went viral last year, now with over 4 million views (some NSFW language):

In honor of Jeff Paradis and his legacy, get to know the resources that are out there. Even if you aren't a veteran, you likely know one. It's so important that we as citizens are equipped with this knowledge so we can help those who sacrificed so much for us and for our freedom.

-Get an appointment with the VA (Mental Health Line at Togus: 207-623-8411 ex. 5515, or call 1-877-222-VETS)

-Utilize online resources. The VA offers online training that focuses on things like anger and parenting:

-Download one of the many apps that assist with things from mindfulness and relaxation techniques, to dealing with concussion symptoms, pain, PTSD, and more. See the full list here.

-Speak to a fellow veteran. Sometimes it's easier to talk to someone who's been through it. The BeThere program was made just for that. Their confidential line is 1-800-342-9647. Or, if you know someone who's a veteran and you're concerned they offer resources to help make that conversation easier.


-If you are a veteran in crisis you can call the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online with someone here.

For more information on the items mentioned here, visit

Whatever your struggle is, remember the words of Jeff Paradis, "You're f*cking worth it." You were truly a light and blessing to Central Maine and countless vets, Jeff. Rest easy.

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