Weatherford Democrat

Veterans' Corner

September 22, 2013

VETERANS’ CORNER: Despite efforts, military and vet suicide numbers rising

By JIM VINES

The good news: most people with military service never consider suicide. The bad news: the number of military and veteran suicides is rising, and experts fear it will continue to rise despite aggressive suicide prevention campaigns by the government and private organizations.

The suicide numbers are rising despite a determined push by the Pentagon and the VA to connect troops to a proliferation of resources. These range from immediate crisis intervention, to specific therapy for post traumatic stress disorder and other forms of trauma, to broader mental health services, peer mentoring, resiliency training, and financial and relationship counseling. VA specialists scour hundreds of places, from NASCAR events to American Indian reservations, for veterans in need. There is such a drive to provide resources that even the Pentagon can’t say how many programs it has or what they cost.

A study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center indicates there are many reasons to anticipate trouble. As an example, the center cites Vietnam veterans who have gone largely untreated for PTSD the many who bury their emotional wounds by drinking and with the use of drugs. As these veterans age into retirement, symptoms of anxiety and depression emerge. Another example cited the experiences of Air Force personnel who receive and process the war dead at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

War trauma effects all career fields who see the consequences of war even if they are not directly involved. Service members and veterans see things and experience events that are not necessarily life-threatening situations but that disrupt their sense of security, what is right and wrong, and that creates tremendous conflict.

A gradual change in the military culture has also raised stress within the ranks. Frequent deployments have increased the isolation of those left behind. Multiple infantry brigades leaving at the same time virtually leave some bases resembling ghost towns. In the 1980s and ‘90s families enjoyed the comforts of base living with schools, shopping, homes with manicured lawns and crimes and drugs staying mostly outside the main gates.

Text Only
Veterans' Corner
  • VETERANS' CORNER: Vets get opportunity to work with lawyers

    The American Bar Association, in close coordination with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has started the Veterans’ Claims Assistance Network (ABA VCAN) to provide unrepresented veterans with pending disability claims the opportunity to work with lawyers. The lawyers will help the veterans complete their claims packages for expedited review by Veterans Affairs at no cost to the veterans. 

    July 27, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA grants will expand transportation

    WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the White House Rural Council recently announced the award of eight grants, totaling $815,051.50, which will improve access to health care for veterans living in highly rural areas. The grants will assist over 11,000 veterans in seven states and 56 counties by providing up to $50,000 per highly rural area to fund transportation services for veterans to and from VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care. The grants are part of a program authorized by Congress to help state Veterans Service Agencies (VSAs) and Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) operate or contract for transportation services to transport veterans to VA medical centers and other facilities that provide VA care.

    July 20, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Preserving war memories through VHP

    The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project (VHP) in 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. VHP’s mission is to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

    July 13, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: VA now processing same-sex marriage claims

    After close consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing guidance to same-sex married couples on the benefits and services to which they are entitled under current laws and regulations.

    June 28, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Vets at risk from parasites in war zones

    Parasites are unpleasant, hard to face and sometimes hard to find. Sometimes the cure is easy and complete, sometimes not. The worst outcome usually comes from misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or no diagnosis. 

    June 21, 2014

  • Cell Phones for Soldiers, Inc.

    Cell Phones For Soldiers Inc. is a national non-profit dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active-duty military members and veterans. Founded in 2004 by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist, then 12 and 13 years old, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 204 million “Minutes That Matter” to deployed troops.

    June 8, 2014

  • VETERANS' CORNER: Many retreat, camp opportunities for vets

    Over the past 10 years, different organizations have begun offering “retreats” or “camps” to veterans and/or their families. Often, the retreats/camps are offered at little or no cost and are intended to provide the veteran and/or family member an opportunity to experience a place and time specifically designated to them. Many of the venues have “themes” and many of those themes relate to experiencing connection with the natural world and with others who have gone through the same experiences.

    May 31, 2014

  • Veterans Corner sig NEW.jpg VETERANS' CORNER: Stricter requirements for military recruits

    Recruiters must reach potential recruits early to set them straight on enlistment today. Recruits think anybody can enlist. Many see the military as a last resort in a tough job market, always being an option. Truth is, the class of 2014 now leaving high school will face more difficulty qualifying for the armed services than ever in the 40-year history of the all-volunteer force.  

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • VETERANS CORNER: AACD offers vets oral health benefits

    The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) is promoting a unique opportunity for our military members and veterans to improve their smile and achieve good oral health. This venture is being done through ‘The Smile Story Contest,’ offering the chance to win a smile makeover from an AACD member dentist.

    May 18, 2014

  • VETERAN'S CORNER: SGLI to increase premium rates

    The Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program will adjust its monthly premium rate from 6.5 cents per $1,000 back to the 2006 rate of 7 cents per $1,000 of insurance, a modest increase to ensure the SGLI program remains in a strong financial position. For a servicemember with the maximum $400,000 of life insurance, this change will mean an increase of two dollars a month.

    May 11, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage