WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN/WJLA) – On a concrete median at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street Northwest stands retired Marine Staff Sergeant Tim Chambers.
Chambers’ wife, Lorraine, says her husband began the Memorial Day tradition in 2002. He salutes thousands of motorcyclists for hours on the holiday each year.
This year, however, 45-year-old Chambers plans to stand for 24 hours straight to raise awareness about veteran suicide. He’s handpicked a music playlist to keep him motivated as he abstains from water, food and bathroom breaks all day.
“Health, relationships, financial, those are the biggest things that contribute to suicide,” Lorraine said.
Sabrina Barella helps run Chambers’ charity, fittingly named “The Saluting Marine Cares.” It pays for veteran medical bills left uncovered by the VA.
“None of us take a salary with the charity, so everything goes to veterans,” Barella said.
One driver, Robert Hall, rode his motorcycle all the way from Fredericksburg to see Chambers’ salute in person.
“I’ve known people whove served in Vietnam and even when they come back, they sometimes don’t come back,” Hall said.