VA aims to reduce veteran suicide numbers

Everyday 22 veterans commit suicide, and in an attempt to reduce that number the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act is now heading to President Obama’s desk.

Like so many other veterans, when Daniel Perritt returned home from deployment, he discovered it wasn’t as easy as putting down his bullets and picking up his books.

“If you have issues you have to talk about them, they’re not going to go away, they’re only going to get worse,” said Daniel Perritt.

Doctors and veterans agree that one of the easiest ways to reduce suicide rates is through veteran support groups. The difficult part with that is simply getting veterans to walk through the door.

“The veterans who run our peer support groups have been there and done that,” said Dale Horaz. “These veterans that are in the peer support groups get the firsthand knowledge from their buddy, friend, whatever it is.”

As younger generations of soldiers come home from war, veteran Ryan McKennedy and Team Red, White, and Blue are extending a helping hand to fellow vets and their families.

“Later on this month we’re going to an SIU basketball, and in January we had two bowling socials,” said Ryan McKennedy. “Everyone brought their families, and they brought their kids, and we just bowled and had fun.”

On March 28th Team Red, White, and Blue will be hosting a ‘Run As One’ event at the Marion, Illinois, VA Hospital

Everyone is invited to attend whether they can walk 100 yards, or a mile.