For the past two days I’ve been talking with a Military Veteran whose late wife was also a Veteran. She recently committed suicide, and of course, he’s having trouble not only understanding it; but dealing with the guilt. He didn’t see it coming at all. As a Veteran of 12 years service myself, I felt drawn to help him. We don’t leave soldiers behind; it’s part of the deal.
I don’t have personal experience with spousal suicide, but I’ve experienced spousal loss twice, and nearly a third time. My first wife Brenda died in 2001 from Breast Cancer, and my second wife Patty died from complications after a stroke. A blood clot in her lungs took her. My current wife contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis in July of 2017, and died eight times before making a long-winded, full recovery.
Looking at the statistics on Veteran Suicide for 2019 was shocking. We hear this, and we hear that; but it doesn’t really sink in until you see the numbers. I still feel drawn in, but what can I do? What can any of us do?
If you clicked on the link above (Veteran Suicide for 2019) and were taken to the PDF report, you’ll also find that these statistics don’t cover National Guard or Reserve Soldiers who have never been on Active Federal Duty; nor does it include Active Duty Soldiers who commit suicide while currently enlisted. It also doesn’t include the number of family members affected by those deaths.
There are a number of organizations who can help. I’ve decided to dedicate a page on this site with links to many of them. If you are a Veteran, a spouse, child or parent of a Veteran; you might find it useful to bookmark this contact list. I’m simply naming it Veteran’s Hotlines. I’ll expand the page as time allows.
If you are indeed a Veteran, whether Active Duty, National Guard or Reserve; Thank you kindly for your dedicated service. This great country depends on, or has depended on you to survive these 200+ years.