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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 60,296
Sponsored by: The Veterans Site

There is a crisis happening with our veterans and military personnel. Suicide rates among veterans far surpasses that of civilians. We cannot afford to lose another hero to suicide! Sign the petition asking the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to provide mandatory training for veterans and their families to help them adjust to civilian life.

These brave men and women served to protect us. Now we must be there for them!

According to the latest numbers from the VA [1], roughly 20 veterans commit suicide every day in the United States. Despite constituting less than 9 percent of the population, veterans account for 18 percent of all suicides. In 2014 alone, 7,403 veteran deaths were the result of suicide.

No matter what the numbers are, the simple fact is that just one veteran death by suicide is too many. We all owe our veterans a debt we can never repay, so the least we can do is be there for them and make sure they have help when they need it most.

The Armed Forces spends so much time training service members to make them the best in the world. However, after all of that training to become a service member, the military is sorely lacking the training programs to aid in the transition to civilian life [2].

The Veterans Crisis Line is run by the VA to aid in suicide prevention, with nearly 3 million calls answered since it was launched in 2007 [3]. And while it is necessary to have that resource available to those who may be at risk of suicide, much more needs to be done to prevent veterans from reaching that point to begin with.

A mandatory "reverse boot camp" program for all service members leaving the military would provide an opportunity for veterans to transition into civilian life with more ease and success. It would prepare them for life outside of the Armed Forces. It would also allow the VA to better identify at-risk individuals who may need treatment or support [4].

A similar program for veterans' family and friends would create a properly trained support network for each veteran. Family members could learn the warning signs and proper techniques for dealing with depression, PTSD, isolation and other factors that may lead a veteran to suicide.

Sign the petition and let the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs know that more needs to be done to help veterans and service members and put an end to the tragic suicide rates in America!

Sign Here

Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs:

One veteran's death by suicide is too many in the United States. Sadly, we currently have a suicide rate among veterans which far surpasses the civilian suicide rate, with roughly 20 veteran deaths by suicide every single day. This tragic loss has been going on for years, and it needs to end now.

According to the most recent numbers from the VA, a study conducted in 2016 found that more than 7,400 veterans committed suicide in 2014 — roughly 20 per day — making up 18 percent of all suicides in the U.S. while veterans themselves comprise less than nine percent of the population. In fact, veterans are 21 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

This is beyond tragic. The brave men and women who serve our country and wear the uniform should have all necessary resources available to them. A soldier would never be left behind on the battlefield, but it seems our veterans are being left on their own back here at home when they need help the most.

The Veterans Crisis Line has answered nearly 3 million calls since it was first launched in 2007, and while that resource is necessary and helpful, the focus ought to be on preventing veterans from ever reaching the point of becoming suicidal, not just preventing the act suicide itself.

Perhaps no other vocation or group of people in the world go through such extensive and continued training as the members of the United States military. Young recruits are shaped, molded and trained to become the very best versions of themselves, to work as a cohesive unit, and to perform specialized tasks with precision and accuracy from the moment they join the military to the day they are discharged.

But if service members go through so much training to be successful members of the military, why are they not equally trained to be successful civilians as well?

Just as each service member enters the military by going through basic training at boot camp, there needs to be established a "reverse boot camp" for outgoing service members. This mandatory program would train veterans to be successful in their civilian life, not only in terms of vocation or education, but in terms of mental health, stability, and knowledge of the resources available to them outside the service.

Studies have shown that suicide is prevalent in both combat and non-combat veterans, making the need for a universal, mandatory transition program even more essential. This type of reverse boot camp would also allow the VA to better identify at-risk individuals who would likely benefit from treatment.

Opening this program up to family members and caregivers of veterans would also create a support network for veterans outside of the military and VA system. Rather having veterans left on their own or families without the proper knowledge and training to help a veteran in need, a program designed by service members and veterans would provide caregivers with the unique insight to better understand and respond to the multi-faceted needs of veterans, with particular focus on trauma, PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries.

Thousands of veterans commit suicide every year. This is a tragedy that does not need to happen. There may be casualties in war, but back at home our veterans deserve better. It is time to put an end to the veteran suicide epidemic.

I urge you to immediately take action to implement a reverse boot camp program as part of the military's discharge process that covers mental health, civilian life and resources available to veterans, as well as a program for the family and friends of veterans to assist and support those in need. Veterans are dying every day, and there is no time to wait while more and more lives are lost to suicide.


Petition Signatures

Feb 21, 2018 Joyce Davis
Feb 18, 2018 (Name not displayed) They stood up for us. It’s time for us to back them with proper access to mental health services.
Feb 13, 2018 Anita Phaneuf
Feb 11, 2018 (Name not displayed) Even one death is too many. We need to do something!
Feb 9, 2018 Janice Tumpap
Feb 9, 2018 Czora Pagsolingan
Feb 9, 2018 bobbette bross
Feb 9, 2018 Glenda Ludwig
Feb 9, 2018 John LaRochelle
Feb 9, 2018 Machelle Bush
Feb 9, 2018 Sandra Stewart
Feb 9, 2018 Stephen Dodimead
Feb 8, 2018 Wanda Carroll
Feb 8, 2018 Jodi Carlin
Feb 8, 2018 (Name not displayed) I'm a Veteran; And my PRAYERS are with each of you always.
Feb 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2018 Rebecca Cope
Feb 8, 2018 Dorothy Jackson
Feb 8, 2018 Joseph Allen
Feb 8, 2018 Tim Murnion Prayers
Feb 8, 2018 Joan Autry Veterans have done so much for the US, we need to do all we can for them.
Feb 8, 2018 Ashia Castendyk
Feb 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2018 Alysa Waring
Feb 8, 2018 Cynthia Green
Feb 8, 2018 Taylor Ivy Absolutely... more needs to be done to take care of these brave soldiers when they come home.
Feb 8, 2018 Deborah Daston They gave up so much for US we can never give up on them.
Feb 8, 2018 Jara Beaubien
Feb 8, 2018 Rose Dowe Please help the Veterans they sacrificed for our fredoms. Now we need you to do the right thing and give them the services they need when they return. Thsnk you
Feb 8, 2018 Mary Dijulio
Feb 8, 2018 Joyce c Luffman
Feb 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2018 louise thibault Instead of spending money for a goofy parade, money should be spent to help are service man (VETS ) they need it.
Feb 8, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Feb 8, 2018 Marvel Parish
Feb 8, 2018 Laurie Howell Veterans deserve so much more than what they get. Their health physically and mentally should be a priority.
Feb 7, 2018 Ruth Rogers
Feb 4, 2018 Sandra Richards
Feb 2, 2018 Terri Robb
Feb 1, 2018 Sieglinda Preez
Jan 28, 2018 Shirley Eichelberger
Jan 28, 2018 Sonya Klaver
Jan 25, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 20, 2018 Anthony Jones
Jan 20, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Jan 17, 2018 Leigha Henson
Jan 16, 2018 Heather Pelletier With my son now serving, this statistic scares the hell out of me. This has to be looked in to!!!
Jan 14, 2018 Jo Mosley
Jan 14, 2018 Heidi Wollum

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