While my goal is to focus on a variety of issues that veterans and military families face, I can’t help but feel led to carry the torch for wounded warriors. Being married to a wounded veteran has given me insight into a world that I didn’t really know existed. I’ll try not to harp on the issue too much on this blog as it’s meant to be all-inclusive, however, understanding the plight of the wounded warrior (those suffering with both visible and invisible wounds) is important and it can’t be ignored.
In 2012, Veteran Affairs (VA) released a report with the staggering number of veterans who commit suicide each day: 22. You can see their full report here. Each day, twenty-two of America’s finest and bravest end their lives because they don’t know how to deal with their pain any longer. Twenty-two husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, sons, daughters, fiancés, friends, roommates, and battle buddies end their lives every single day. Twenty-two.
It’s hard to help a person who says that they don’t want help, but if you know a veteran who you believe is in crisis, they may need your help whether they want it or not. VA offers a number of resources for friends and families of vets. Don’t let your loved one become one of the twenty-two. Visit the VA website for more information here or call the Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1.
You don’t have to let your veteran suffer alone. You may not understand the things they’ve seen, the feelings they have, the hope they’ve lost, or the depression that consumes them but you can be there for them when they need you the most. If your veteran is experiencing chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, or anger they may need help beyond what you can offer them. Be brave enough to reach out for help on their behalf. Your veteran’s life may depend upon it.