- Posted March 21, 2014 by
Fort Benning, Georgia
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Salute to families
We Are The Uncounted
I also serve as Military Spouse Magazine and Armed Forces Insurance 2013 & 2014 Fort Benning Spouse of the Year. My is platform is PTSD, and suicide.
The story “The Uncounted” is one that hit home and brought about realization that maybe the civilian world will finally understand our new reality. I am the mother of a child, whom at the age of 13, attempted suicide on my husband’s R&R from Afghanistan in January 2011. I can tell you that our story is not uncommon in the military. Nine times out of ten the civilian world will never hear about the family or soldier suicides on a military installation. We are working to stomp out the stigma, but we have a very long way to go. I speak up and stand for those that fear reprisal and cannot have a voice. We must ALL be accounted for and the stories must be heard. I fear that without an accurate count of suicide attempts and suicides among family members, we will lose the resources and family programs, as they intend to cut our budget even more.
I worked alongside our previous Garrison Commander COL Jeffrey Fletcher in 2011 to start Suicide Awareness Walks here at our installation. These walks were held in 2012 and 2013. It saddens me to report that they have now discontinued this event.
I thank you for your report and I humbly request that you do not let this story stop here. I believe that by continuing your coverage of the issues dealing with military family mental healthcare and suicides there will be a reduction in the stigma and we can ensure that the family programs and support will not be reduced.
2013 & 2014 Fort Benning Spouse of the Year
Volunteer Field Advocate American Foundation for Suicide Awareness
SACVET Honorary Executive Board Member
TAPS Caregiver to Families of the Fallen