On this Christmas Eve I would like to remind all of the readers of The New Forty that every 80 minutes a veteran commits suicide. These are brave men and women who have served our country faithfully and come home only to suffer more – be it with reintegration challenges, PTSD, frustration with seeking assistance or benefits, or adjusting to severe physical injuries. Their pain, frustration, and angst is so overwhelming that they see only one way out – suicide.
Every eighty minutes – 18 a day – 126 a week – 540 a month. It is a travesty that goes on unabated every day – every day we lose more veterans by their own hand. The government knows about it – it has been well-documented over the past five-plus years. There have been congressional hearings, research reports, massive studies, thousands of articles, books, and even a court opinion about this epidemic, and still the government has done virtually nothing to stem the tide of veteran suicides.
This is a national disgrace. We must do more to address this epidemic. We owe our veterans and we our our veterans’ families better than this. This Christmas Eve, 540 veterans’ families will be remembering the veteran they have lost within this past year to suicide; and, thousands of families who lost a veteran family member via suicide in years’ past will look upon this Christmas Eve and wonder how it can be that after all the losses and all the discussion about veteran suicide this scourge on our country’s soul continues.
My condolences go out this evening to all the families who have lost a veteran to suicide. I know that the wound you carry with you will never go away and I want you to know that I have not forgotten that within the tragic veteran suicide statistics are real families left to cope with unbearable losses. I wish you some semblance of peace tonight.
From each and every reader of this blog I ask one thing – please take up the topic of veteran suicide with your legislators before next Christmas rolls around with 540 new mourning families. Holidays are about family and the veteran suicide epidemic is devastating families – speak out about the government taking swift and decisive action to curb veteran suicide. By doing that one thing, you could be the difference between a veteran’s family having a joyous or tragic year.
Day one thousand two hundred and sixty-six of the new forty – obla di obla da