Voices: ‘I continue to fight for him by honoring his legacy,’ mass shooting victim’s son says

Editor's Note: This guest column by Dion Green appeared on the the'Ideas and Voices page on Sunday, Aug. 2 with others. The section was devoted to the first anniversary of the Oregon District mass shooting. Other column related to the tragedy are linked below.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

I cannot believe it has been a whole year since I have seen or spoke to my dad.

It still does not seem like it is reality. I still find myself going through my text messages on my phone and reading previous messages between us. I start laughing because what he is talking about is hilarious but at the end I find myself crying. It is so hard to come to terms with what happened and that he is gone.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

But the impact of this senseless act of gun violence has changed my life forever.

I have my days that are harder than others. But I continue to fight for him by honoring his legacy and leaving one for myself by being involved in the community, sharing my story of him offering encouragement to others. And by explaining to them even in times when it is the darkest, you can still turn that into a light to guide people through life-changing experience.

I have learned that while going through something like this, you acquire PTSD and all the other symptoms like depression, insomnia, and just feeling alone and angry. It’s such a hard process to fight by yourself. If you do not have faith and a great support system to help you, you can start feeling suicidal because you just feel alone.

But I wanted to live again for me and for my father, so I dedicated myself to empowering others and myself.

My nonprofit FUDGE (Flourishing Under Distress Giving Encouragement) is up and running. It is driven toward helping those who have been affected by violence and they need guidance and resources to get back on track to reclaim their lives.

But I hope is that with these senseless acts of mass shootings occurring around the country, we stop making these military-grade weapons so accessible to citizens, but especially those with mental health issues. I want the government to tighten up the reins on background checks so we can keep these weapons out of the hands of those who do not value life as we do and no one else has to experience these life altering events.

Dion Green survived the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes and the Aug. 4 Oregon District mass shooting. He started the nonprofit FUDGE (Flourishing Under Distress Giving Encouragement) to honor his father, Derrick Fudge. Fudge was murdered in his son’s arms during the mass shooting. Green penned the book “Untitled.”

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