Why you should call a veteran this weekend

A tragic pattern is emerging: suicides in the armed forces rose by 15 percent in 2020 – from 504 suicides in 2019 to 580 the following year.

Up to two-thirds of suicidal veterans have terrible connections and have not been in touch with the Department Veterans Affairs (VA) service and support network. Researchers have identified such social isolation as “arguably the strongest and most reliable predictor of suicidal ideation”. [suicide] Attempts and fatal suicidal behavior “, according to VA.

“The results are worrying,” Defense Minister Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security – Presented by Boeing – Senate enacts defense law Ukraine’s defense minister says he has asked the Pentagon for military assistance Warren calls for a Senate investigation into the 2019 Syrian air strike that killed dozen civilians said in response to a September report about the shocking number of military suicides. “The suicide rates among our soldiers and military families are still too high and the trends are not going in the right direction.”

The need for a The national push to combat suicide and military isolation has never been so great. All Americans can do one simple action to help curb suicide deaths among active service members and veterans. This Sunday we’ll see that in action, with the first yearbook National Warrior Call Day – a deceptively simple approach that belies its lifesaving benefits: call and connect with someone who is or is currently serving in the armed forces. Offer support when needed and direct resources to it. Hear.

It is an effort that is supported by everyone seven living former chiefs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, numerous Congressman and three Medal of Honor of the Congress Recipient.

In the past 10 years, more U.S. veterans have died from suicide than soldiers who died from fighting in Vietnam. The suicide rate among veterinarians after 9/11 is particularly high. And when compared to civilians, the rate of veteran suicides is far higher. Of particular concern are the post-September statistics. 11 veterans and active soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and are between 18 and 34 years old. Their suicide rate is 2.5 times higher than that of all civilians.

A new Brown University report estimates that 30,177 active soldiers and veterans of these wars died by suicide, far more than the 7,057 soldiers killed in these wars.

Numerous governments have tried to stop the deadly trends through reinforced programs. And some hopeful signs are beginning to emerge. For example, the suicide rate among veterans fell modestly in 2020 for the first time in years. But we can all help build on that success and make the difference – by turning average Americans into catalysts for connection and overcoming the isolation that veterinarians and military personnel sink into.

On November 21, this national liaison day, all Americans should call a warrior – the first of several such calls during the year – and give him resources like Vets4Warriors or the VA.

Serving the nation in uniform is one of the noblest calling – and thus saving lives.

Frank Larkin is co-chair of the warrior Call initiative. Larkin is a retired Navy SEAL, 40th Senate Sergeant at Arms and father of a Navy SEAL son who committed suicide.

Leroy Petry is co-chair of the warrior Call initiative and a 2011 recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor.


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