Learn to Count….

Today, “The UnCounted,” an article by Ashley Fantz (a CNN journalist) was published. A compilation of military family members telling their accounts of how the military has impacted their lives, and how at points they wished for the end- the end of their lives.

I am one of those stories. I am one of those that was nearly a number, or wait- I was almost NOT a number?! In the realm of military and civilian, we as military family members are lost. Service members are counted, 22 lost per day to suicide- a number too high. In the civilian realm, as of 2010 according to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death among Americans. “X” is the number of military family members that are lost to suicide- “x” being the unknown.

Suicide preventative programs are established, funded and executed by the numbers accounted for  in the other segments; because the numbers are stories, stories that matter. Stories of lives that should be told, and shared- to in a way carry on the life that could see no other end, than to end it all.

Are we reaffirming that the military family members don’t matter, by not counting them? In a culture where we push family readiness programs, are we doing a disservice by not sharing the stories? Are we perpetuating the stigma by pretending it doesn’t exist?

This matters because we do COUNT, we do MATTER, our stories should be SHARED.

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One Response to Learn to Count….

  1. Christine Kerr says:

    I read the cnn articles and my heart ached for all of our military members and their families. I suffer from PTSD caused by spousal abuse. It was only after I left and remarried that the full extend of my illness surfaced. It almost destroyed my new marriage to a wonderful man. But he didn’t give up on me and eventually made me see that I needed help. Two decades later I have a good life but the PTSD is still with me and, even with medication, I have very dark days. The difference is that I can talk about it now and my family has learned not to try to fix it but just to listen and be supportive.

    I urge you to seek help and share your feelings with others. That in itself can be a life saver.

    As a retired military spouse I also have Tricare and it has become more difficult to access services.

    Thank you for your service to this country and may you find comfort and peace in the years to come. Please know that you are not alone and reach out to others.

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