23 Lives a Day

22 veterans +1 active duty service member take their lives every day. 23 lives a day, by their own hands.

One veteran takes his or her own life *EVERY 65 MINUTES* in this country. In the time it takes you to watch a television show or eat a meal, one veteran takes his or her own life.

It’s important to note that this statistic, while shocking, includes data from only 21 states and from veterans who are receiving VA care.  It does not include National Guard and  Reserve populations ( the majority of those deployed  to Iraq and Afghanistan were NG/R).  It does not include homeless veterans or suicides that may appear to be accidents (drunk driving accidents or overdoses). The actual statistic could realistically be 44 or 66 a day.

Tonight, my heart is heavy with the knowledge of one such veteran and the family of four he left behind. His wife is a dear friend of mine. We’ve had the opportunity to meet on more than one occasion–to hug, laugh, and cry together. This family has selflessly fought for and assisted numerous  veterans while simultaneously navigating and battling frustrating systems for themselves.

You can make a difference in many ways. Say “thank you” to the veterans you know, or those you meet. Learn about issues affecting our nation’s veterans. Find out how you can get involved locally by contacting veterans organizations (VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans), churches, VA hospitals, or nursing homes. Visit http://www.familyofavet.com or http://www.facebook.com/lifeaftercombat to learn more about those who serve our country and the families that stand beside them. Share this information and help us raise awareness. Veterans make up approximately 1% of the US population–we can’t get this information out without your help.

If you would like to help this family by making a donation (100% of your tax-deductible donation will go directly to the family) please use the link below.


Need help? Contact the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, or send a text message to 838255. http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/

Friends and family members can call 888-823-7458 to get help assisting the veteran. http://www.mirecc.va.gov/coaching/

2 responses to “23 Lives a Day

  • Alaina

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. When someone we care about is taken from us too soon, it hurts. When the cause of death is suicide, the hurt goes even deeper.

    Your post is beautifully written. Someone I care about and tried very hard to help committed suicide in December. A few hours after I got the terrible news, I wrote a blog post about it. But by the following day I realized that my emotions were too raw for me to think straight, let alone write coherently, so I deleted my post.

    Thank your husband for me, please, for his heroic service. And thank you, too, for all you have done and continue to do. The contribution of the supporting spouse is too often overlooked. As the wife of a disabled Vietnam combat veteran, I know this first hand.

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