Sunday, October 7, 2018

In Tampa Veterans Were More Than A Number, They Were Family

Veterans lost to suicide memorialized during Military Suicide Survivor Seminar
FOX 13 News
Jennifer Holton
October 6, 2018

TAMPA (FOX 13) - Air Force Veteran Drew Winkler is just one face of many memorialized on a wall of servicemen and women lost to suicide.
Drew took his own life on Memorial Day 2016.

“He was a natural leader, he really had his stuff together,” Rick Winkler said of his son. “After Drew had come back from his deployment, he had changed,” Rick said.
For the family members Drew left behind, the Annual Military Suicide Survivor Seminar helps them move forward in healing. The event is in its tenth year.

“It taught me how to grieve, how to heal through grieving, and how to move through it,” Rick said.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, hosted its annual event in Tampa Saturday, drawing hundreds of family members who have lost a loved one to suicide.

“It’s really critical for those who have lost a loved one to suicide to be around other people who understand that journey,” said Kim Ruocco, the TAPS Vice President of Suicide Prevention. “We try to move people from that brokenness and trauma that often results from suicide, towards post-traumatic growth.”
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