Veterans' PTSD and suicides

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A beautiful service was held at the New Windsor Cantonment on Sunday, May 26, to honor those stories of war and military service that we tend to ignore and want to forget.

It called us to remember that 22 veterans commit suicide on average every day, and support them in our communities while they are still living.

The highest number of suicides come from Vietnam War veterans, with those from the post 9/11 era rising, and with more women suicides than ever.

From the sharing we learned that PTSD is a major contributor to these numbers and one reason for the high number of PTSD is that unjust wars and unjust violence generates large number of PTSD.

This causes moral injury generated by a moral conscience, which veterans face often in terrible aloneness.

This Memorial Day service called us in our communities to reach out to veterans. The healing tool of reestablishing trust can happen by communities creating safe places and trusting relationships with friends and concerned citizens.

In this time when anger, nationalism and reactionary movements around the world and at home are leaning toward war, it is even more important that we in our communities weave areas of support for those veterans suffering from the wounds of war.

Thanks to the Greater Newburgh Interfaith Council and Vet2Vet for this very meaningful service.

Verne M. Bell


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