On Sept. 28, Amanda Souza, a Gold Star wife, stood up at a veterans town hall in Fort Lee, Virginia. With tears in her eyes, she told President Barack Obama about her husband, who committed suicide.
“He was diagnosed with PTSD,” she said. “But, unfortunately, like many of our service men and women, this was his career, this was his livelihood and he was too scared to go get help because he did not want to risk being labeled as unstable or weak.”
Because of that stigma, Souza explained, he took his own life. And now she’s worried about the next generation of veterans, like her son, who also volunteered to serve.
Trembling, she added, “How can we change the stereotype?"
After thanking her for her husband’s service, her son’s service, and her continued support for the military, Obama said, “ If, as a consequence of the extraordinary stress and pain that you are witnessing, typically, [on] a battlefield, something inside you feels like it's wounded, it's just like a physical injury. You've got to go get help.”
As for the stigma, Obama said, it needs to end.
“There’s nothing weak about asking for help,” he added.
President Donald Trump hit back at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday with a letter saying he was "sorry to inform" her that her trip to Brussels, Belgium and Afghanistan would be canceled due to the government shutdown, just one day after Pelosi proposed cancelling the State of the Union address for similar reasons.
Marine Corps drill instructor R. Lee Ermey in his iconic role in 'Full Metal Jacket' (Warner Bros.)
Retired Marine Staff Sgt. R. Lee Ermey, the legendary Marine drill instructor turned iconic Full Metal Jacket actor who died last year, will be formally laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, according to the cemetery's web site.