Since the news broke, there have been a number of people working to use the sad news to try to reach out to troops/veterans that were at risk, as well as to educate about depression, stigma, and related issues. I could rant about ignorant posts and posters, but I'd rather focus on what's important: reaching out to those at risk, because if even one stops and thinks, and chooses not to follow...
The new social media manager for Mission: VALOR, Army veteran Jennifer Wilkins Perminas, sent me a post yesterday that she wasn't satisfied with. I thought it bloody marvelous, and said so. Here's a small taste:
His death brings me to a larger epidemic that I believe we need to discuss. Some folks believe that suicide is a selfish and a cowardly act- and they are entitled to their opinion. However, depression is not a condition to which one wakes up to and shouts “depression; come and get me!” It is invasive and relentless in its goal of permanently demoralizing an individual. You can look at depression as a parasite; once it finds a host, it will progressively deprive the miracle fiber called courage (as George Patton liked to say). Critics labeling suicide as a selfish and cowardly act is not only insulting the deceased; but are adding to the ignorance that depression does not discriminate.
Go read this wonderful post, at Mission: VALOR or on Facebook. If you are one of those thinking about leaving this way, please reach out. There are options, and there are people who care. There are links to resources, please follow them. Do not go.