This is an article that was passed on to me this evening. the statistics mentioned are for the time when it was written. I did some research to find out the current situation for US active duty and veterans and i’m happy to report that the number has dropped from 22 every hour to 18. That’s still a high number but 2012 saw a staggering 349 deaths to suicide, we had 295 KIA.
In 2010 I started out on a very unusual 3,400-mile journey across the country. I walked barefoot from Boston, MA, to Santa Monica, CA. The trip took 10 months, and as I walked I wore a sign that said \”18 VETS A DAY COMMIT SUICIDE\” to raise awareness about military Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD.
Almost every day on this walk from June of 2010 to March of this year, I met family members of vets who had committed suicide, and I cried with them as I shared their grief. I encountered many people who said they felt better knowing somebody cared. Mothers would make a U-turn in the road, get out of their car, and cry as they told me how they lost a loved one to suicide, after they had arrived home safely. The 22 suicides a day is just the tip of the iceberg, which is the collateral damage.
The facts are overwhelming:
22 veterans a day in the U.S. commit suicide.
40 percent of the homeless are Veterans
Drug and alcohol abuse, family disintegration, and incarceration are rampant among veterans.
I spoke before the Committee for Veteran Affairs. This meeting was organized by Congressman Philip Roe. After going to D.C. I realized that I AM the government and it is time that I act so and I do that not by asking them, but telling them what I want by how I spend my time and money. I saw that just by asking I’m showing them it doesn’t mean that much to me, but when I put my time and money behind it they listen.
That is why we are now working on opening gyms to the public that will be free for veterans and all active duty military personnel, this is how I tell them what we want for our young men and women in the military. We have been doing fundraisers creating awareness and gaining support in the community, thank you for your help and hope to see you when we open the first gym.
Sincerely Ronald Zaleski
The Long Walk Home is a non profit organization raising money to provide counseling services our Veterans who are coming home from the war in the Middle East. Please see the Resources page for more information on these programs.
If you want to help other then financially, please call 305 453-6789 and we will provide you with many different ways in which you could help make a difference.