As a citizen and a veteran, I find those figures to be totally unacceptable. These men and women are sent into harm's way for a variety of reasons, and then we leave many of them without the safety nets they need in their readjustment to normal life.
I recall stories about suicide rates in the National Football League, especially after the death of Junior Seau in 2012. The NFL recently teamed with GE to look into developing a safer helmet to prevent and improved diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries. They're spending $40 million on the project.
According to the Twilight Language blog, there have been 12 reported suicides in the past 25 years.
That's not a misprint. Twelve in 25 years involving NFL players. And we're losing 22 vets EVERY DAY to suicide.
I'm not trying to diminish the deaths of those pro athletes. They left behind family, friends, and teammates. And I'm glad that measures are being taken by the league to address the problem of head injuries.
What I'm saying is that vets also need our compassion and support. The mental battles for some don't end when they return home. And these vets --who are not high-profile athletes -- also have family, friends, and loved ones who care deeply about them.
As Roberts pointed out, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other "war-related mental health conditions can be successfully treated. It is my hope that we as a nation start to take this seriously."
Roberts closed by writing: "This is a problem for all of us and together we can help those who served our nation."
Until the next time...