Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day. Hooper (2023) reported the suicide rate for veterans is 1.5 times higher than the general population. The risk of suicide increases when the following factors exist: acute psychosocial stressors, having low cholesterol, higher doses of opioid medication used for pain control, insomnia, mental health conditions to include anxiety disorder, manic-depressive disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and finally substance misuse, especially heavy binge-drinking. If you or someone you know is struggling, reach out to a trusted friend as well as the suicide hotline. Suicidal thoughts or ideation include contemplating various ways of how to complete the act of suicide, or preoccupation with death and suicide. It is important to realize help is available. In 2022, the National Suicide Prevention line changed from a ten-digit number to three-digits, 988. One can call, text or chat with trained counselors, providing free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling.
The veteran of the week is Thomas “Rocky” Plympton. Rocky served two years in the United States Army. He was deployed to Vietnam from January 1969 to 1970. He was a supply specialist responsible for the transport of ammunition and vehicle parts. Although he was shot at many times, he was fortunate and escaped any injuries during his time in ‘Nam. Rocky and his family moved to Rosebud in 1959, a valued member of the community for sixty-five years. He is married to Carol Plympton. Rocky has three living children. One son died at the age of thirteen. I asked Rocky if he had any words of wisdom to share, he reported “God has blessed him beyond belief “
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