Friday, April 13, 2018

Veterans Reunion Missing Far Too Many

Vietnam Veterans Forgotten Again?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
April 13, 2018

When I read that there will be a display to remember veterans lost to suicides at the Veterans Reunion, I thought they would get it right. Considering this reunion began for Vietnam Veterans, their lives should matter here at least.

After reading the article on Florida Today, it is sickening to discover yet again, they just do not matter enough.

When will reporters ever correct something as serious as veterans committing suicide? What made this one even worse was that apparently, now they can use "troops" and "veterans" lumping them together in a mashed up number like 660? 

That number is supposed to be how many veterans commit suicide every month. Too bad no one thought to actually do the work to figure out that there are far too many more not being remembered at all. 

OK, harsh reality check here. These are the numbers of the "troops" we lost in 2016 and 2017. 

No, they are not even mentioned in the numbers people pass around like a treat. Too bad it is a wicked trick since even the numbers of veterans committing suicide are wrong too.

That 660 is supposed to be from "22 a day" but they did not mention that report involved just 21 states. So, no, nowhere close to what is real. That report also said that among the known suicides, 65% of those veterans are over the age of 50, but since they are escorting the Vietnam Memorial Wall into Wickham Park to honor Vietnam veterans, guess they thought that these older veterans do not deserve even honorable mention!

Then within the report from the VA is this reminder that the known suicides have not gone down since 1999 however the number of living veterans has gone down by over 5 million.

Am I pissed off ? Yes. When I film the riders coming in this year, I think I'll shed more tears knowing how they have been forgotten all over again!

They are killing themselves in higher numbers and none of these new groups pulling stunts will lift a finger to help them or even remember they started everything available for all the other generations!

I feel terrible for Robin Thomas, who lost her husband to suicide, because she had no way of knowing, what she had been told, was not the truth. She wants to honor her husband at the same time, save another family from going through the same thing.

Lord I hope to give her a hug and tell her how sorry I am that after all these years, veterans like her husband are still taking their own lives.

This is from last year.

Melbourne Vietnam-veterans reunion to feature 660-flag display for troops lost to suicide 
Florida Today 
Rick Neale 
April 12, 2018

MELBOURNE — An array of 660 American flags will silently flutter along the north shore of Back Lake in Wickham Park during next week's Florida Vietnam and All Veterans Reunion, standing somber testimony to the estimated 660 U.S. troops and veterans lost to suicide every month.

The "flags for forgotten soldiers" display is a new addition to the 31st annual reunion lineup, which is billed as the largest of its kind in the nation. Flag installation begins at 1 p.m. Sunday.

"We just thought we had an issue with one person. Well, after Terry died, his suicide was tragic to our family — it's inconceivable. But he acted the same as many PTSD veterans," said Merritt Island resident Robin Thomas, who is spearheading the 660-flag display.

Thomas is a former Air Force staff sergeant who served from 1979-88. She gave birth to her son, Terrance O'Hearn, while stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. He later served combat tours as an Army specialist from 2006-10 in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he committed suicide at age 30 in 2016 in his California apartment. It was his fourth suicide more here 

Imagine if he had been told that he could heal and actually knew where to go to get it? Too many were too busy yelling about something veterans already to kill themselves. 

This video is from 2015 before I got my hands on the report itself and saw where the data came from. At least we knew that Vietnam veterans were the majority of the veterans committing suicide. Would have been better if the rest of the country bothered to actually care.

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