As we all go about merrily this holiday season I want to remind everyone of an unpleasant reality that will forever mar this season for an untold number of veterans’ families – the veteran suicide epidemic continues unabated.
In these 12 days before Christmas, 216 more veterans will commit suicide. On Christmas Day that number will grow by an additional 18.
A recent policy briefing stated, “…the VA estimates that a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes. Moreover, although only 1 percent of Americans have served in the military, former service members represent 20 percent of suicides in the United States.”
I imagine you are appalled to hear these statistics. I hope they make you want to do something…something to help put an end to this horrific epidemic. You can do something. You can contact your elected representatives and tell them to take decisive action to stem the tide of veteran suicide. Have them read the reports and the news stories about veteran suicides. Forward this blog so they can see some of the faces that serve as a reminder of the legacy our lack of attention has created.
Every 80 minutes – 18 a day – 126 a week – 6,570 a year.
Day eight hundred and ninety of the new forty – obla di obla da