Don’t Give Up

I commonly post about the fun things of military life. This can make it sound like a really fun life, but there is a very serious downside.
From the time you graduate basic training until the day your retire or get out you are under constant scrutiny. It is commonly your hair, needing a shave, your boots are not shiny enough, or your uniform is not tightened up. This is annoying sometimes, but expected.
I have responded to far too many suicides during my career. The cause is almost always financial or personal relationships, most often both. The military provides classes on balancing your checkbook, but they do little to teach relationships. I’m not sure they can. Of all the problems my troops had, relationships were the ones that bothered me the most. My first wife was far from faithful, but I balanced that out by pouring myself into my trade. I deployed often and frankly liked it that way. However, I realized that the younger guys dealt with these issues differently. Some turned to alcohol, or worse. Add this to their other problems and things get out of hand.
I did not have to deal with their problems alone. There was a chain of people who were there that were trained in those areas. Sadly this chain was often overworked and under-staffed. This often meant the troop would find himself in a very bad place.
Presently 22 veterans take their lives every day. The average age is from their mid to late 40’s. These are men and women who have pushed themselves beyond their limit.
If you are a veteran there is help that is both free and confidential. The Vets Help line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1. No veteran should be left behind, or feel that the team is not still there.
Civilians can also get help at 1-800-273-8255 and just stay on the line. Suicide is not the answer. You have much to contribute, don’t take that away from us.

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