Rising Suicide Rates in Vetrans

Bailey Woodall, Staff Writer

Veterans battle with their own demons inside their heads while they’re serving and long after they’re done serving. Being in the military is glorified in the United States because Americans have so much respect for the men and women who decide to fight for our country. They see the tear-jerking homecomings that go viral on Facebook, but they don’t see what it’s like behind the scenes. Men and women go off for months, sometimes years, to see things civilians could never imagine seeing. They have little to no communication with their families. That’s a lot for the human brain to process.

According to Veterans Affairs, 17 veterans commit suicide every day. That statistic is only rising. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a silent disease that creeps up in a veteran’s brain. They have nightmares about their war experiences, they have triggers that take them back to their deployments. The military trains you to be tougher than an everyday person. Physically and mentally. That’s why people who serve get this mindset that it’s not okay to be not okay. They feel the need to be almost robotic.

Personally, I come from a long line of veterans. I’ve seen their mentality and the way they process difficult situations. I know how they handle their emotions, like nothing is bothering them. You “toughen up and get over it”. It’s a sensitive topic and your stereotypical veteran

doesn’t like sensitive topics. That’s why I think it needs to become more of a “norm” for service members to talk to someone throughout their years of duty. Instead of letting it all build up, their enlistment ending, and being sent out into the world like a loose cannon. That’s not healthy for them or their loved ones.

Veteran Affairs(VA) has over 200 treatment program options all over the United States. If you don’t live near a VA medical center, they have counseling over the phone. Veteran Affairs is trying hard to provide all kinds of treatment options hoping to find a way to treat everyone struggling in the military. To make it the most comfortable fit. From over the phone, 1 on 1 therapy, group sessions, and even psychotherapy.

It’s okay to not be okay. That needs to be a message relayed to every single military base state side and overseas. Let’s bring attention to the statistics of suicide and make it more of a stereotype to reach out and get help. Veterans give their lives to protect this great nation, it should be our jobs to give their lives back to them.