22 veterans a day commit suicide. Everyday (nearly one an hour) my brothers and sisters are choosing to check out of life. Thank you for your service isn’t enough, it rings hollow when these troops are so isolated and undervalued that they choose to stop breathing. “War is hell,” is not just a cliche quotation of General Sherman, it is a simply spoken truth that every combat veteran has suffered through, it does not matter in which conflict they served. They put their right arm up and said,
“I, (full name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
They understood this oath writes our government a blank check that could cost them everything up to and including their life and they still signed it. That level of dedication and sacrifice that generations of American troops have repeatedly displayed does not go away, it is within them still. The major change is the lack of ability to stride into civilian life and carry the economy into what should have been an enormous economic boom similar to what was seen post World War I and World War II. The entrepreneur that would have been a rich man/woman two years after WWI and WWII was unable to get a loan to start her/his company and is often unable to find any work. These people are an untapped resource.
What can we do? Get involved.
1. Become a volunteer, supporter or member of the any of the veteran organizations such as: Vets Helping Hero’s (vetshelpingheroes.org), The American Legion (www.legion.org), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or the #IAVA (iava.org)
2. Combat Suicide. Participate in the passing of important legislation such as, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act is a significant piece of new legislation that aims to help reduce military and veteran suicides and improve access to quality mental health care. Read more about the SAV Act here: www.iava.org/savact.
3. Don’t thank …show. Gratitude in attitude is far more important than lip service. Stick up for your veterans and choose to hire them.
They are not entitled youth they will find a way to succeed with or without our help. #investinourvets #VetsRising