August 20, 2019
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13 King James Version (KJV)
Everyday the reports are written. "This one" is doing this stunt to make people aware veterans are committing suicide. "That one" claims the number to be 22, another one says it is 20, and someone else says, "one is too many."
"This one" takes a walk. "That one" runs, another one does "22 push ups" instead of doing the work to lead the way on how they can want to live.
Then, we have charity after charity, holding events like this one.
"The tournament, it's in memory of Patrick Werne who was a local Veteran," Kyle Jean, Section 1776 operations manager said. "He was battling with his PTSD. He lost the battle last year in early July so this fishing tournament is in memory of him and to raise awareness for the 22 Veterans a day that commit suicide." WWMT NewsWhat are they raising awareness of? That veterans are killing themselves? Without mentioning that the number currently used was changed years ago?
They did not seem to even understand how many more are missing from the report, or the fact that all the talk about suicides, did not prevent the suicide of the veteran they are now having events for. This has been going on for over a decade!
Awareness events like that did nothing to come close to what veterans have been doing in VA parking lots.
"Nearly 30 veterans have taken their own lives on VA medical campuses in the last two years, a figure that has prompted lawmakers to request more monitoring of parking lots and public areas for signs of individuals in distress." Military TimesThen there is the fact among the known suicides, older veterans are the majority, as well as the ignored.
"The VA National Suicide Data Report for 2005 to 2016, which came out in September 2018, highlights an alarming rise in suicides among veterans age 18 to 34 — 45 per 100,000 veterans. Younger veterans have the highest rate of suicide among veterans, but those 55 and older still represent the largest number of suicides." NPR
To understand why all this awareness has not worked in the last decade, we have the more current Department of Defense reports on members committing suicide.
The Air Force is reporting a rise from last year's count, which was the highest on record.
"If airman suicides continue at their current pace, this year’s deaths by suicide in the service would far eclipse last year’s. In 2018, 60 active duty airmen, 17 Air National Guard and three Air Force reservists died by suicide for a total of 80 airmen, according to the Defense Suicide Prevention Office." Stars and StripesWhile over 47,000 American's committed suicide, it shows the lack of growth on the prevention side for civilians to stay alive. We also need to consider that 1.3 million attempted suicide. If suicide awareness worked, don't you think the civilian numbers would have gone down?
The simple fact is, the rate of veterans committing suicide, is even higher. Female veterans committing suicide are 250% times higher than civilian women, just as there are more military males than civilians unaware that suicide is not their only way out of the misery they live with.
When there are more first responders committing suicide than ever before, added into all of this, we keep missing the most important factor of all. Every single one of them lived for the sake of others. None of them found a way to live for themselves. They lived, but we let them die.