A veterans group is spending this Memorial Day weekend marching to raise awareness of suicide and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Around a dozen members of the group Active Heroes will take turns carrying heavy rucksacks along a 120-mile route. U.S. Army Capt. David Goodell of Richmond Hill is one of the organizers. He says participants will carry heavy rucksacks to symbolize the pain felt by veterans who’ve taken their own lives, and the families left behind.
Data about military veterans who commit suicide is stark: 22 veterans a day decide to end the lives. The nation’s two wars are also taking a toll on the families of those service members. Telling the stories of those military spouses, parents, sisters and brothers and their struggles with depression, anxiety and suicide is the focus of a new CNN Digital project called “The Uncounted.”
A new initiative aims to help combat veterans transition to civilian life. It will be based at Callaway Gardens near Columbus, and the idea is to bring service members and their families for recreation and counseling to help with the return from combat. The program’s creators say they’re trying to reduce record levels of divorce in the military and a suicide rate four times that of the civilian population.