The 12 Days Before Christmas – 216 Veteran Suicides.

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. 

Be appalled.

DO SOMETHING!

Clay Hunt

Joshua Omvig

Timothy Bowman

Walter Padilla

Orrin McClellan
 
Cameron Anestis

Jonathon Schulze

Coleman Bean

Sean Dacus

Jesse Huff

Jeffrey Lucey

Jacob Andrews

Day eight hundred and ninety of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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5 Responses to The 12 Days Before Christmas – 216 Veteran Suicides.

  1. katherine says:

    So grateful you are keeping this in front of people.

  2. Barbara says:

    Thank you for posting the photos and putting faces to the numbers–heartbreaking to see, but we need to be heartbroken by this situation.
    “Each man’s death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.” John Donne

  3. Debbie Wilson says:

    My Dearest Soldier

    My dearest soldier, I remember when you would have died for me,
    Why then oh why, is suicide the only option you can now see?

    I sit here alone and wish I knew how to call you up on the phone.
    I wish I knew who or where you were so I could make sure you aren’t alone.

    I wish you would send me your email so I could just drop you a line,
    The real truth is, I want some guarantee that you will eventually be just fine.

    But wars hurt and mame and the warriors never come home quite the same.
    You all have paid such an ultimate price and life in this world can get insane.

    If I could scream at you I would say just wait a little longer until you want to again live.
    But I know that with PTSD, brain trauma, wheelchair’s, and all the rest, your feeling you must have nothing else to give.

    But if you will take just a moment to listen to a friend, I promise with time the heart can again mend.
    If you listen close I’ll tell you the truth, even with a battered body or mind, you still have something special you can give a friend.

    Make sure someone gets you some access to a phone and a computer,
    Because I am excited to see what you can all do if You choose to live until the future.

    There will be hope again in your life, I Promise!

    With Loving Regards,
    Debbie Wilson 12-26-2011

  4. Gael Lynch says:

    Thank you for putting this horrific statistic out there. I WILL pass it on. We all need to seek out these kids and help them find their way back…emotionally and spiritually. Even the vets who live on house awful images in their hearts and minds. My own dad stuffed the horrors of war for years. War changed him, war changes these women and men too. PTSD is the one constant of all who serve away from home.

  5. Noe Ontiveros says:

    As a Viet Nam Marine veteran I want to thank you for you recognition of this epedemic, the VA plays the blame game but does nothing about it. Even though we are all accountable by what we do or don’t do the VA is utimately responsible as is the Congress who just gives us lip serves. God Bless you, if even one life is saved this is well worth it. Semper Fi B 1/1 USMC 1969

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