We celebrate and honor those that have and are serving our country. It is a day that is too short but the appreciation we have in our hearts is real. What also is very real is the rapidly increasing suicides by military personnel.
I advocate for the cause and it’s hard to read, but here are the facts:
- 95 percent of military suicides are among enlisted members.
- 41 percent had a recent outpatient behavioral health service.
- 38 percent had served in Afghanistan or Iraq.
- 47 percent are under the age of 25.
- 34 percent had communicated their suicide intent.
- 20 percent had been prescribed antidepressants. (Source : CDC)
Military suicide deaths have outnumbered combat deaths for the past 3 years. On average, there is one every 27 hours.
I don’t have the answers. I wish I did. I am a never ending tape, tirelessly asking people to come out of the shadows and talk about it. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid to TALK.
I only know that we send these heroes out to protect us and they are struck with such depression and/or PTSD that they feel their only solution is to take their own lives.
My “adopted” mother and I were out shopping when she saw a man in camouflage stepping out of his car. She walked across the parking lot and said a simple Thank You – and then she stepped up on her tippy toes hugged him. With that, she came back. Wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL if this caught on?
If you know a military man or woman, let’s don’t feel shy about asking them how they are doing.
If they need to talk the number to call is 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.