Supporting our Veterans beyond the Thank you

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It’s Veteran’s Day, a day in our country when we take a moment to pause and thank those who have dedicated their lives in service to our country. Last year I wrote about those in my family who have served and how thankful I am for all of the men and women that choose to serve. 

My Grandpa Billy E. Lee who served in the Air Force from 1951-1953

This year is the same, we take the month of November to stop and reflect on the things that make us thankful. Currently, I am thankful for different reasons. I am thankful that the stigmatism of mental illness is being brought to light and talked about more freely. Things like anxiety and depression are not things to be embarrassed about or something that we need to hide.

You may be wondering what that has to do with honoring Veterans day.

According to mentalhealth.va.gov in 2017 45,390 Americans lost their lives due to suicide and 6,139 of those were U.S. Veterans. 

As a mom that suffers from anxiety and depression, I can understand how hard it must be to reach out when you are apart of the military. You are the protector of the country, the strongest among us you shouldn’t have to reach out and get help. But just as moms need to reach out so do our Service Men and Women!

I can not even begin to understand the pain a family would feel after getting their loved one home from serving their country only to lose them to suicide. There have been new executive orders signed as of this year to support Veterans and aide the military to create national suicide preventions. There are viral push up challenges that have made the rounds on social media for years now to call attention to the epidemic and the statistic that every day 22 Veterans/Service Men and Women take their lives. 

This Veteran’s Day I challenge us all to go a little farther, and instead of just thanking those who have served but reach out and make sure those who have served are getting the support they need. Let’s educate ourselves on what happens when our Veterans get home and ways that we can help.

I have listed a few charities below who support veterans and their families with transition and emotional support!  

Wounded Warrior Project

Suicide Prevention Lifeline  

Mission 22

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Stop Soldier Suicide 

The National Veterans Foundation 

Make the Connection

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