By Brian Simmons, Executive Director.
The men and women of our armed forces volunteer to serve. They do it for a variety of reasons, but all of them choose to serve. They go to war because “We the People” tell them to, not because they want to. Most come home; many do not. For those who do, many continue to fight battles long after they have left the battlefield.
And that is the battle that is killing some of them — not the physical one, but the emotional and psychological battle that scarred them just as much as those who endured physical injuries.
These scars may or may not accompany scars from mortars, bullets, or knives, and they are no less severe. We need to treat them as such.
This is why we’ve taken our focus on our nation’s heroes to a whole new level. Suicide is an epidemic, especially in our military.
The Uniformed Services University’s Center for Deployment Psychology noted that
military veterans [are] twice as likely to die of suicide
when compared to the general population (emphasis mine). This is also reflected in the VA’s 2012 finding that an average of 22 men and women a day die by suicide. Some reports since then have suggested that this number has decreased slightly but, no matter if it is 2 or 22, no veteran should ever come home and have to continue to fight a war they’ve already survived.
We hope you will join us as we fight for them. Fight with us to save lives and honor our veterans’ service and sacrifice. Speak up and tell people that #22aDayIsNotOkay.