As I was writing this evening, I was caught up in the search for a young Army Soldier who had gone missing only a few days ago. Before disappearing in the local area, he sent a troubling text to his family and friends. His family mobilized an army of volunteers to search for him using social media, and by this evening people from across the country were engaged.
He was found today, but sadly, it was too late. His mother wrote a heart-wrenching post to all concerned, part of which is the title of this article.
He was suffering from PTSD after serving in combat, and life became too difficult for him to navigate. Everyone involved was devastated. I cannot imagine the agony with which his loving, broken-hearted mother wrote her beautiful words of tribute to her son, who has gone on to a place where the sun always shines and there is no pain.
22 veterans commit suicide every day, and the rate has increased steadily since 2007. About one active duty member commits suicide every day. For every combat death this year, 25 veterans will die by their own hands.
This is a national tragedy. As a community, as a country, we must wrap ourselves around those who served and be there to help them as they heal. Until we do, I am afraid the trends will continue.