November 10, 2018 the day before Veteran's Day, an organization in Tooele, Utah, the Life's Worth Living Foundation
, unveiled what is being heralded as a first of its kind monument
to dedicated to the issue of Veteran suicide.
Being a Veteran, I am horribly concerned about this issue, so naturally I went and took a few friends, both Veteran and non-Veteran alike
The numbers vary over the past few years, but it is estimated that 20-22 of my fellow Veterans take their own lives each, which averages to be about one suicide every 65 minutes. I personally believe that this epidemic
is preventable, by doing a very simple thing, something that we are trained to do and is a part of the culture of the military, and that is look out for one another. I realize that this isn't a be all solution, and I am not even sure that there is such a thing for this epidemic, but I know that it is something that can prevent someone from taking their life.
Even if you are not a Veteran, you can help with this epidemic, you can reach out to a Veteran that you may know, especially if you know that he or she is in crisis.
As I have often said, I am grateful for our nation and the Veteran community, in particular Viet Nam Veterans, because there are many organizations that have been created by Viet Nam Veterans to help Veterans, in particular my generation to deal with all of the crazy stuff that Veterans deal with. I could easily name countless organizations like that help teach Veterans an activity or skill, but I will list the following:
Project Healing Waters
Guitars for Vets
Veterans Charity Ride
There are also other organizations like The National Center for Veterans Studies
, that are studying this epidemic and making a huge difference.
If you are a Veteran and are in crisis, please call the VA Veterans Crisis Line
and Press 1
to talk to someone, or if you prefer, send a text message to 838255
to connect with a VA responder, and they also offer a confidential online chat session at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat
You can also go to a VA facility
near you, or even a medical facility of your choosing in your area.
In closing, I want to you to recite in someway and remember the words of the Spartan Pledge,
"I will not take my own life by my own hand until I talk to
my battle buddy first.
My mission is to find a mission to help my warfighter
Life is worth living, so please choose to live.