Dallas, Texas- Today, members of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America rallied with the VA and other Dallas area veterans’ organizations to raise awareness of the alarming rate of suicide in the veteran community.
According to a study released by the Veterans Administration in 2012, 22 veterans are committing suicide every day. That’s over 8,000 men and women lost to suicide every year and over 100,000 veterans lost since 9/11.
“When you consider that over the last decade of war we have tragically lost less than 8,000 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan combined, suicide is rapidly becoming one of our biggest domestic enemies,” said Chris Hampton, a former Naval Officer and IAVA member who served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Many suicides could be prevented if everyone learned to identify the warning signs of someone who may be in need of help. “Identification is an important first step in protecting at-risk individuals,” said Veterans Administration Suicide Prevention Coordinator Annie Joseph. “Not everyone will show the same warning signs. Therefore it is important that you always trust your instincts when assessing the situation. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, so ensuring individuals seek help as early as possible is critical.”
Citizenship is a gift and a sacred trust. When we uphold the covenant between ourselves and our country, we keep faith with the generations that came before and set the standard for those that will follow.
IAVA-Texas understands and accepts this responsibility not as a burden to bear, but as an honor.