Most people have felt sad or depressed at times. Feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or an injured self-esteem. When feelings of intense sadness, helpless, hopeless and worthless last for many days to weeks and keep you from functioning normally, your depression may be something more than sadness. It may very well be clinical depression -- a treatable medical condition.
On November 10, 2016 Cpl Travis Michael Nowak lost his fight to depression - adding his name to the somber roll call of 22 U.S. military veterans who die by suicide every day, more than double the civilian rate. Since that day, some 1,562 of those we honor for their service on this Veterans Day have died by their own hand.
Suicide — not combat — is the leading killer of U.S. troops deployed, according to newly released Pentagon statistics. The reasons suicide ranks as the No. 1 cause of troop deaths are complex and poorly understood, according to experts on military suicide. They likely include mental illnesses that enlistees brought with them to boot camp, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments and heightened anxiety in a military at war for 16 years.
Veteran's experts estimate that 17 of the 22 daily suicides involve vets not enrolled in the VA’s health care system, suggesting more research and far greater funding will be necessary to get a handle on the problem. Oftentimes veterans with honorable or back-to-back discharges get denied VA health care even though they are eligible. This happens because the VA Medical Centers don’t have access to all of your military personnel records or don’t understand that you are eligible for VA health care based on a “good” period of service even if you are honorable discharge. Why is this even a problem? Why are the people, protecting our country being denied healthcare.
As the Armadillo Project is underway. We are hoping to carry on the dream Travis had. We are also trying to raise awareness for our Veteran's. If we can help one person defeat this ugly disease, I would be happy. Help us come together as a community, as a country to raise awareness for our protectors.