Each month, StoryCorpsMilitary Voices Initiative celebrates and honors the stories of the 2.4 million men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 10 years. These stories are shared on the StoryCorps site, and broadcast on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday each month.
StoryCorps shared a story about hotline responders from the Veterans Crisis Line that came together to discuss their work as part of StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative:
“When you have a 19 or 20-year old who wants to die, that is totally heartbreaking.”
Suicide in the military is a growing concern and in 2012, more troops died by their own hand than in combat.
There are men and women devoted to helping veterans through their darkest hours. They work at the Veterans Crisis Line, the national suicide prevention hotline run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Four of them sat down for StoryCorps to talk about their most memorable calls.
And for those of you dealing with mental health issues, whether it’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression, or something else entirely, there are resources to help you. The Real Warrior Campaign offers resources for servicemembers and their families dealing with mental health issues and sustainability.
And if you missed the MOAA/NDIA-sponsored Warrior-Family Symposium, you can get a recap of the events, including videos of each panel discussion, online. Mental health experts and panelists included Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), actor Brian Delate, and General John F. Campbell, USA.
Blue Star Families, NBC Publishing, and Vulcan Productions bring you a FREE ebook; Everyone Serves highlights key topics and tips from relationships and communication to self-care, and offers information on the possible emotional affects of each stage of deployment and reintegration.
Regardless of what stage you are at on the deployment spectrum it is a must read.
Col George “Bud” Day, USAF (Ret) died on July 28 at the age of 88.
Day, a Medal of Honor recipient, spent more than five years as a POW in Vietnam after being shot down in 1967.
Day served in uniform over the course of four decades, in three branches of service, and participated in three major conflicts.
After retiring from service Colonel Day continued to serve those who have worn the uniform by becoming a fierce and powerful advocate on behalf of military servicemembers and retirees.
His class action lawsuit against the federal government for breach of contract helped pave the way for the establishment of TRICARE For Life for retirees over age of 65 in 2001.
He proudly served his nation and expected his nation to honor its reciprocal commitments. MOAA mourns the loss of this proud veteran and great hero.
Leave your thoughts and remembrances for Col. Bud Day in the comments.
Pallbearers, made up of airmen and Marines, lift the casket of retired U.S. Air Force Col. George “Bud” Day from his hearse during the funeral service at Barrancas National Cemetery on Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., Aug. 1, 2013. Day, a Medal of Honor recipient and combat pilot with service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, passed away July 27 at the age of 88. (U.S. Air Force Photo/ Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Parkinson)
A recent story on NPR covered a new study out on the rising military suicide rate among servicemembers with different types of deployments. In this study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, the number, length, and type of deployment didn’t necessarily predict whether or not a servicemember was at greater risk for suicide.
In fact, servicemembers who didn’t deploy even showed an increased risk. Veteran Brett Morash, who now works with others returning from service, says, “The people that were left back in garrison, their jobs either got more complex or more hours or all sorts of stressors.”
According to the results of the study, the most helpful predictor of risk factors is psychological distress, including mental health issues and abuse of alcohol or other substances.
Learn about connecting military servicemembers and their families with the appropriate mental health resources they need at the MOAA/NDIA 2013 Warrior-Family Symposium, September 12 in Washington, D.C.