Today’s veteran suicide number isn’t 22. It’s 75!

Maybe you are getting tired or burned out on the Veteran Suicide topic.

Don’t! It’s not over, and the fight is still on.

22 is the number that everyone throws around related to veteran suicide. The latest report by the Veterans Administration says 20…. whatever it is even if it is ONE, it is ONE too many.

Something was disturbing about that last VA report was the active duty suicides quadrupled from 1 to approximately 4 a day… tragic. I have another number I want to talk about. That number is75

A recent report hit mainstream news recently that in 2018, 75 active duty & reserve United States Marines found themselves at a point, where they were so hopeless of a worthy future that they took their own life.

That is not okay.  Not okay for the Marines, for the military as a whole or for us as a nation.

That’s 75 sons, daughters, parents, brothers, and sisters… 75 beloved friends, 75 souls, 75 futures. We can do better in this fight.

The current Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Neller had these important words to say “MARINES NEVER QUIT ON EACH OTHER!” We cannot; we cannot continue to talk about this issue and not take an active role in being part of the solution.

If we were going to the rifle range we’d have a range safety officer over our training, and before anyone fired a round that safety officer would say something like this,

“EVERYONE here is a safety officer. If you see something dangerous, say something! Safety first, Marines.”

All of us are safety officers in this. If you see something, say something.

Every-time I get a call from a command over a suicide; the initial response is always the same, “Everyone is shocked… no one saw this one coming.”  In the short days to follow the investigation always tells a different story, “The signs were everywhere.”   There was expressed frustration, subtle comments, isolation or even obvious depression and despair, while those who could, failed to act.

There are ways to pull others out of the darkness and lead them to hope and to a future.

Veteran Suicide Awareness Video – Please Share

A kind word, an invitation to talk, a cup of coffee, a shared experience of a struggle in your own life… and a place to point them to.  You don’t need all the answers to life’s problems, but simply need to point them to a place of hope.  Mighty Oaks and many other organizations, who truly care and have track records of success, are a place to point them to: FREE programs, peer to peer with individuals who share in their experience and will come alongside and lock arms with them to lead them out of the darkness and into a future of hope and purpose.

We have to STOP simply talking about the problem, and step up to be part of the solution.

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