Operation Snowflake helps gold star family heal following suicide
By: Steve Dent
Dec 22, 2019
GREENLEAF, Idaho — In 2013 Tanner Volkers died by suicide while serving in the United States Air Force, it's a loss the Volkers family continues to mourn.
Volkers now channels her energy into helping other military families honor the lives of their loved ones lost to suicide.
"I was having a really hard time during the holidays, so I sent out for snowflakes," said Volkers. "It was very small in the beginning and I never dreamed it would turn into this.”
Operation Snowflake is a memorial that now raises awareness to the fact that every day in our country, 22 veterans and active duty service members die by suicide.
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This is not the story I thought it would be.While I feel terrible for the family, it is happening way too often. A grieving family wants to turn their pain into something positive, and that is good. What is bad is when they are passing on information that is not true. The number is not now, nor has it ever been "22 a day" and that is according to the VA and was within the report everyone seems fixated on repeating.
Further, this report contains information from the first 21 states to contribute data for this project and does not include some states, such as California and Texas, with larger Veteran populations. Information from these states has been received and will be included in future reports.
Estimates that the number of suicides among Veterans each day has increased, are based on information provided by 21 states and may not be generalizable to the larger Veteran population.I do not blame the families but I do blame everyone, from politicians to the media for sharing a lie. To pretend to care is what made all this worse for our veterans after over a decade of people doing what they want to instead of what is needed to change the outcome.
Raising awareness veterans are killing themselves makes no sense at all. They already know that. What they do not know is how to heal because all they hear about is that other veterans lost their battles.