Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the U.S. Army’s official website. As Suicide Awareness Month comes to a close, it’s important to remember that one small act can make a difference. If a veteran or service member you know is showing signs of crisis, take action to make sure that individual receives the care he or she needs.
I was lying in my bed passing a lazy Saturday morning, listening to the sounds of traffic and laughing families outside my window, mindlessly clicking through Facebook. I opened an invitation to a memorial 5K run in honor of my late friend Dave.
A lot of people cannot comprehend why someone would take his or her own life. In the case of service members, the stress of war, being away from family and friends, traumatic brain injury from combat, and transitioning out of the military, among other things, can be overwhelming to young veterans returning from the combat zone. Indeed, according to data released by the Department of Veterans Affairs earlier this year, male veterans under the age of 30 saw a 44% increase in suicide rates from 2009 to 2011.