It has just come to my attention that, on the average, 22 military veterans kill themselves every day. This I found most troubling and very sad. I myself served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era and suffered from depression. I thought of and tried to commit suicide while being homeless after my discharge from the military in 1975, but I did get help.
Therefore, I feel for these veterans and their families. I am now a member of the American Legion Post #103 in Douglaston and believe more needs to be done for those who have served our country with dedication and courage to protect those freedoms we all hold most dear. Now they need our help now. The VA has programs that can help.
There is also the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Project that is an initiative that lets veterans get counseling anonymously in a small group setting to manage post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to other disorders. This program is in 22 counties thoughout New York. But these programs can only help if the veteran decides to take the first step and get help. So if you know a veteran in that situation, help them to take the first step. You will be glad that you did. For a life is so sacred.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.