Saturday, April 15, 2023

Major General Greg Knight: We don't have resources to give needed help

Finally, someone has told the truth about veterans committing suicide. Why finally? Because I've been saying it since 2012. It took all this time for the truth to be told and it may, prayerfully, cause the change that has been needed. It was bad enough that people used "22 a day" as a number linked to veterans committing suicide because that number was never a real one. It became worse when they raised millions a year to let veterans know they were killing themselves. They already knew that. They didn't know how to stay alive.

So, with the number finally getting out of the way, do you think people will change the conversation to something that will help them understand they can heal #PTSD? Until they get the help they need, none of us will either!

WCAX Investigates: Suicides after Service - Pt. 2

By Darren Perron
Published: Apr. 13, 2023
“I don’t think we have enough providers for brain health in Vermont,” said Vermont National Guard Commander Major General Greg Knight. He says many vets have no place to turn to get help. “That’s immensely frustrating for us to know. I can encourage people to get the resources they need and we may not have them to give.”

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A startling number of veterans die by suicide every day in the U.S. The VA estimates the number to be around 17 daily. But allegations in Operation Deep Dive, an extensive study by America’s Warrior Partnership, estimate the amount could be double that, something the VA denies.

In part 2 of his special report, Darren Perron looked at what’s being done to stop veteran suicides and the losing battle in finding adequate mental health care.

Susan Sweetser has a room full of keepsakes from her daughter, Ginny, inside her Essex home. And three years after her daughter took her own life, Sweetser keeps her daughter close to her heart -- a pendant containing Ginny’s ashes. “The pain that’s left when somebody dies by suicide -- it’s there for the rest of our lives,” Sweetser said.

Army Sgt. Ginny Sweetser deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of the Global War on Terror. She spent more than a year under constant attack, driving military vehicles through insurgent hot spots.

She survived but lost the battle to stay alive after she returned home. Ginny’s struggle with suicidal ideation began right after she returned from deployment. She made a TikTok video alongside another soldier to raise awareness about the difficulties veterans face. The hashtag #IGY6 stands for “I’ve got your back” -- to let other vets know they’re not alone. But shortly after posting the video in 2020, at 39 years old, her mother says she took her gun and shot herself. “After 15 years of struggling, Ginny was gone,” Sweetser said. “Our lives will never be whole again without her.”
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