When I started Team Veteran the suicide rate was 16 Veterans a day, then it went to 18 per day and now it is 22 to 30 per day and still the suicide rate climbs.
(Side note: TVet believes the phrase “…Veterans Commit Suicide…” needs to be addressed as Veterans Die By Suicide)
For the last four or five years I have been very confused and shocked why more people didn’t ask the question “What can I do to help stop the Veteran suicide rate? Or something similar.
The following comments I read on Facebook regarding this photo although in my opinion were disgusting they gave me the answers. Maybe people are just Ignorant of the facts, so let me shine a little light on some of the causes for Veteran suicide.
John said: “Taking your own life is a personal choice. The lion did not have that choice!”
John said: “If the statistics on that sign the man is holding are true, we would have over 8000 suicides a year. There will be no more vets left!”
Eric said: “I love veterans. I do. My dad served in Nam. But this is just ignorant. Vets aren’t endangered…glad this gentleman is shining some light, but do it in a smarter way. Suicide is a choice.”
Godniel said: “The lion did not commit suicide… those 23 people per day was self inflected… they don’t care.. I don’t care… learn to love yourself.. if you dont you can’t truly love anyone else.”
Emmily said: “The people who took suicide decided that, but the lion didn’t!”
Bella said: “Well I don’t pity anyone who commits suicide. You’ve made your choice.”
Some of the symptoms for PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) are;
Physical issues such as Headaches, feeling dizzy, being tired, trouble sleeping, vision problems, hypersensitivity to noise and light, frontal lobe damage leading to impulse control issues.
Cognitive (Mental) Memory problems, trouble staying focused, poor judgment and acting without thinking (impulse control), being slowed down, trouble putting thoughts into words (word searching).
Emotional (Feelings) Depression, anger outbursts and quick to anger, anxiety (fear, worry, or feeling nervous), personality changes, hyper-vigilance.
The VA protocol for PTS and TBI treatment is the use of multiple psychotropic drugs, frequently the Veteran is prescribed 5 to as many as 25 drugs per day. These drugs have synergistic effects and many have “black box warnings” about causing suicide ideation.
Suicidal ideation concerns thoughts about or an unusual preoccupation with suicide. The range of suicidal ideation varies greatly from fleeting thoughts, to extensive thoughts, to detailed planning.
A psychotropic drug is a chemical substance that crosses the blood–brain barrier and acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it affects brain function, resulting in alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, and behavior. These include anti-psychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs and hypnotics. The “harm” caused by these psychiatric drugs can include violent behavior, uncontrolled aggression and suicide.
Do you still believe that a Veteran suicide is a “Voluntary act”?
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association offers to its membership base LegalShield and Kroll’s IDShield to handle trivial and traumatic legal and identity theft issues. This action allows those without Wills, Physicians Directives, Durable Power of Attorney to get those tools in place (as its known that 7 out of every 10 Americans do not have these valuable documents). A LegalShield plan can help with all sorts of planned and unplanned legal issues such as traffic tickets, foreclosures, warranty disputes and much more.
Identity theft effects millions of Americans and children are 51 times more likely to be a victim each year. Victims of identity theft can face issues such as lost job opportunities, problems with securing a loan or harassment from debt collectors. You can get the experts on your side with Kroll’s IDShield. Services include access to your credit report (or consumer credit disclosure), consultations, expert restoration and more.
Team Veteran makes a donation to the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Association for every membership that is activated. See our Mission page to learn more.
VA Turns Back on Navy Vietnam Veterans Suffering from Agent Orange Diseases
For the past year, most Americans are aware of many problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA.) The media has done an excellent job reporting the excessive backlog in processing veteran medical claims, the unsatisfactory amount of time it takes for veterans to get appointments at VA hospitals and clinics, the cooking of the books by VA hospital officials trying to satisfy the VA bureaucrats in the Washington headquarters, and the procurement irregularities associated with the billions of annual VA expenditures.
What has not been reported by the media and not being addressed by the VA is the grave injustice to thousands of Vietnam veterans, who have died or are dying from cancers and other deadly diseases caused by their exposure to lethal defoliants while serving on U.S. Navy ships in the Vietnam Theater of War.
The United States military sprayed over 20 million gallons of toxic herbicides and defoliants in Vietnam from 1962 to 1971. The goal of this program was to defoliate the jungle to deprive the enemy of food supplies and enemy sanctuaries. The most common of these herbicides was known as Agent Orange – one of the most deadly cancer causing dioxins ever synthesized by man.
Agent Orange found its way to streams, rivers, harbors, and eventually the South China Sea where they were ingested by Navy ships. Warships would suck up this contamination during the shipboard water purification process off shore and on the aircraft carriers farther out at sea. Agent Orange contamination also entered the ventilation systems on these ships as a result of the wind–just as radioactive particles from the damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor covered the USS Ronald Reagan Battle Group, operating 60 miles off the coast of Japan, following the tsunami in 2011.
Due to the high number of veterans who contracted Agent Orange related diseases, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991 which declared any veteran who served on active duty in the Vietnam Theater of War (ashore or afloat) from 1962 to 1975, and has a disease attributed to Agent Orange dioxins would be presumed to have been exposed to Agent Orange and eligible for service connected medical treatment and disability benefits.
However, in 2002, the VA, without medical or scientific evidence, changed the criteria for presumption of exposure from personnel holding a Vietnam Service Medal to only those veterans with “boots on ground” or in the “Brown Water Navy” (on patrol-boats or smaller ships operating on inland waterways.) This arbitrary decision rescinded presumption of exposure for those sailors and marines serving at sea in the “Blue Water Navy” and the Vietnam Theater of War , including those operating or anchored in Da Nang and other Vietnam bays and harbors.
The VA’s decision to support only those who served ashore or in the Brown Water Navy appears to be funding related and does not account for the operational aspects of how Agent Orange was delivered to the battlefield. Numerous scientific studies done by the CDC, the Institute of Medicine and the Australian VA proved sailors at sea were exposed to these dioxins. Incredibly, the VA refuses to accept that Blue Water Navy ships were contaminated by wind blown and water borne Agent Orange dioxins, and as a result Vietnam-era Blue Water Veterans continue to suffer and die from the debilitating health effects of Agent Orange and their families suffer overwhelming financial problems without VA support.
The House (HR969) and Senate (S681) have bills in process to re-establish their intent in the Agent Orange Act of 1991, but VA Secretary McDonald can right this long standing injustice with the stroke of his pen under the authority given to the VA in the 1991 law. It is time that we reverse this unfair decision that affects our remaining Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans who are suffering from Agent Orange related diseases, and I urge all readers to write to Secretary McDonald and their members of Congress to right this terrible wrong.
Vice Admiral Ed Straw, USN Retired
New York City
Here is part of what you discover on this story that needs shared!
In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle—an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day—about 8000 a year.
The situation became so dire that the U.S. Secretary of Defense called suicide in the military an “epidemic.”
Some have claimed that this spate of self-harm is because of the stresses of war. But the facts reveal that 85% of military suicides have not seen combat—and 52% never even deployed.
So what unsuspected factor is causing military suicide rates to soar?
The video at the image below may boil your blood.
You’ll NOT want to miss this excellent poem and the way it is presented in video! Team Veteran would be honored to meet A. Lawrence Vaincourt!
From Just A Common Soldier:
Just A Common Soldier, also known as A Soldier Died Today, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, New York. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.
Please enjoy this tribute to the Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen who have given so much for our country.
SUICIDE OUTRAGE – Since 2001 112,420+/- Veterans have died by suicide.
Another Veteran will die by suicide in 37 minutes 12 seconds.
Total this year 5169 have died by suicide.
CALL TO ACTION: What will you do to help create sustainable funding to support vetted Veteran charities nationwide?
Please contact Team Veteran to see how you can help create the funds needed to stop this Outrage!
decisionmaker @ teamveteran.org
The following video links [also on our video page] contain important (more…)
Have you heard? The donation made through Team Veteran LLC by founder Gordon Brown has made its way to Louisiana!