GATORCHOPPIN ON... Raising Awareness of the high-rate of suicides amongst veterans

Updated 4 weeks ago by David "Alligator" Williams
GATORCHOPPIN ON... Raising Awareness of the high-rate of suicides amongst veterans

The United States of America owes an immeasurable debt to our veterans of the armed forces.  These men and women gave their lives or risked their lives defending our freedom.  Veterans Day is the day of the year that we thank and honor those brave veterans for their service...obviously we owe them much more than one day of thanks.  However, with national focus on Veteran's Day, it is a perfect time to draw awareness to the high suicide rates amongst our veterans.

 

Twenty-two veterans a day committed suicide for a long time.  In 2017, the number was lowered to twenty suicides a day amongst veterans.  Almost seven thousand a year die at their own hands.  The suicide rate for male veterans is times higher than the rate of male civilians.

 

Stress is a huge factor in most suicides.  Those soldiers who served in active duty have seen and experienced things that us who did not serve in the military will never see or face.  They suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and / or depression.

The stress then continues when they re-enter civilian life and have trouble finding suitable employment to support their families.

Many affected live in silence and are afraid of the stigma of mental illness or PTSD.  They try to be strong and not reach out for help.  By holding in it and not seeking out someone to talk to the force eventually becomes too strong to deal with themselves.  It is important to keep them from being isolated and overwhelmed by depression.

 

Many who struggle with PTSD and depression often unknowingly self-medicate by turning to drugs or alcohol which increases their chances of committing suicide as the stress or depression becomes too much to deal with.

 

Many veterans are trying different things to raise awareness to the high suicide rates in hopes that more psychological services will be offered to vets or that more vets will see that it is okay to reach out.  Marine Corps vet William Felty has done twenty-one two push-ups a day for the last 775 days to raise awareness.

For 22 hours, Markus Burns flipped a 300 pound tire to bring awareness to veteran suicide. Burn says he decided to flip the tire for 22 hours because 22 veterans a day die by suicide. Also, he recently lost his platoon sergeant to suicide too.

 

More than 800 people were marching in the Green Bay area Saturday morning to raise awareness of the issue of veteran suicides.

 

Many groups across the country are urgently trying to fight problem by increasing awareness.  It is hoped that by bringing attention to this problem, more vets will receive the help they deserve.  It is our veterans that stepped forward to protect our rights and freedoms, now, it is the civilians that need to step up and demand that our guardians get the help they need to prevent more suicides.

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