Good morning Dreamers. I hope this post finds you in good health, a clear mind, and ready to tackle the day. My mind the past twenty-four hours has been wrestling with a fact that I have held in my subconscious for some time. Veteran suicide. I know this is a far departure from my regular optimistic theme, but I see a silver lining in the situation. We need to improve our care in helping veterans who succumb to suicide. The statistic that has been steadily on the Nation’s mind has been that 22 veterans per day commit suicide. 22. In my line of work that is a little more than half of a platoon. That would mean that you can not operate as a team and complete your given mission. But a more important fact is that it’s 22 lives. There are families and friends connected to those 22 veterans. We need to improve our treatment and prevention.
A growing number that has been overlooked is that 15 out of that 22 were veterans over the age of 50. It was proven also that their deaths had less to do with their time in service and more to do with adjusting to life circumstances. So we can’t just pay attention the young. Or just pay attention to the older veterans. We must improve our care for all veterans.
The Veterans Administration must be improved. But it doesn’t stop there. We must build support in our local states. In our cities and towns. In our neighborhoods. On our block. In our homes. My silver lining is that we all can all help. Everyone knows a veteran. Everyone knows someone who has served. Maybe not directly but indirectly. You see her in your supermarket. You see him in your coffee shop. You see them at your kid’s plays and sports games. You may be a veteran yourself. If you don’t be ashamed about asking for help. No one cares about the bravado stance and feel like a weakling for asking for help. We can all improve this for the good.. We just have to care. Talk to them.
Because though we may leave the valley, the valley never leaves us.
If you are in trouble or know someone who is please call the Veteran’s Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 & Press 1. Their website is http://www.veteranscrisisline.net.