Those who fight for our freedom often return home with battles of their own.
The Department of Veteran Affairs says more than 20 active service members, reservists and veterans commit suicide every day.
Wearing our country’s colors comes at a price for many.
“The area we’re concerned with are in female veterans because of the lack of resources that are there for them and also the Vietnam era veterans,” said Keith Campbell, who serves on the board of directors for the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Summit. “Those are the ones committing to suicides right now.”
Campbell’s mission is to connect veterans with the services they need; but it’s not an easy task.
“They think if they speak about what’s bothering them, they’re weak,” he said. “They’re not weak; takes a stronger person to come forward and tell someone what’s on your mind.”
Campbell says there are some red flags to look for: “They close themselves off, they won’t talk about what they went through or what they saw overseas.”
But even when a veteran might decide to seek help, they often don’t know where to go. That’s why Campbell says it’s becoming more common to see scenes like the one in Cape Coral on Friday, where someone took their life outside the VA Clinic.
Campbell says “a lot of times they aren’t getting what they want.”
VA clinics across the country help veterans find medical help, offer counseling and have housing assistance programs. But Campbell says other organizations in the community also provide services and he’s encouraged the VA to share those services with vets as well.
He says they best thing to do if you or someone you know is struggling with PTSD is simply reach out to a local veteran organization. They know about all the groups in your area that will help struggling veterans find the services they need.