Veteran's Suicide Struggle

Veteran's Suicide Struggle

"When it happens, its one of those things you don't believe, you know the individuals, and you're thinking it just can't be."
     ?Wayne Hostler entered the Air Force more than forty years ago, and there are still things that happened on the battlefield that are just too scarring for him to talk about. 
     But, he knows all too well that some of the toughest battles that members of the military fight are within themselves.
     Twenty two veterans take their own lives each day, and many experts think that number is being under reported.
     "When it happens, its one of those things you don't believe, you know the individuals, and you're thinking it just can't be," Hostler said.
     One particular incident veteran suicide still is very emotional for Hostler. 
     "We were extremely good friends," Hostler explained, "and when the full investigation was done, he had a checklist of everything that needed to be done so he wouldn't screw it up. It was bad."
     Andrea Watson with Helen Farabee Centers in Wichita Falls said that often, the hardest thing for military members to do is ask for help, and instead will try to power through the pain.
     "The most startling thing is just the effect that P.T.S.D. has on veterans," Watson said. "The waking up, and the terrors, and the reactions that they have. I can't imagine what these people have to deal with."
     Awareness of the problem by vets and non vets is key. Hostler had a message for veterans who are struggling.
     "Don't do it, it's not worth it. 
     "Tomorrow is going to be better.
     Watson says the community needs to be a supportive ear to veterans, and get educated about the warning signs of suicide.
     "The more people get educated about how to reach out to these people, were all going to be safer as a community."
     And there's an opportunity to do just that.
     Tomorrow night, at the Wichita Theater, the Vernon Auxiliary VFW is showing a documentary about the Veteran's Suicide Crisis Center at 6pm and 8pm.
     Mental health professionals will be there to answer questions before and after the film. 
     If you are or know a veteran in crisis, there are a number of programs and organizations that can help. The Veteran's Crisis hotline is 1-800-273-8255. The number for the Veteran's Specialist at Helen Farabee is 940-397-3315. 
Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6