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Goal: 75,000 Progress: 60,250
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.

Sincerely,

Petition Signatures


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
Jan 9, 2018 julie matewicz
Jan 6, 2018 Misti Lee
Jan 5, 2018 (Name not displayed)
Dec 28, 2017 Jennifer Falsetta
Dec 28, 2017 raphael balboni
Dec 27, 2017 Michelle Peeples
Dec 20, 2017 Emile Ouellette
Dec 18, 2017 Joyce McCollum
Dec 11, 2017 Susan Beam-Gilleland
Dec 11, 2017 k v
Dec 11, 2017 A Martin
Dec 11, 2017 Amanda Ault
Dec 9, 2017 Gloria Soto
Dec 3, 2017 Alice Jacobson
Dec 3, 2017 Coeli Smith
Dec 3, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Dec 2, 2017 Vanessa Bäßler
Dec 1, 2017 Denise Griffin
Nov 30, 2017 Herbert Staniek
Nov 30, 2017 Lori Nightingale
Nov 28, 2017 Anya Cehelsky
Nov 28, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 27, 2017 Erin Glenning
Nov 26, 2017 Lynda Cruickshank
Nov 26, 2017 Marley Mcdermott
Nov 26, 2017 Zoe Fox-Smith
Nov 26, 2017 Lorie Zaplotinsky
Nov 26, 2017 Terri Lynch
Nov 26, 2017 Kevin Dahl
Nov 26, 2017 Sheila Stevens
Nov 25, 2017 Jo Johnson
Nov 25, 2017 kimberly maxey
Nov 25, 2017 Carol Bernbeck
Nov 25, 2017 H. Deurloo
Nov 25, 2017 Ann Felicetti
Nov 24, 2017 Lacey Faulkner
Nov 24, 2017 Julie Martin
Nov 24, 2017 Rita Genton
Nov 24, 2017 Cathy Ruggles
Nov 24, 2017 Amy Hile
Nov 24, 2017 Vivian Hernandez
Nov 23, 2017 bernardo alayza mujica
Nov 22, 2017 Robin Isaman
Nov 22, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Nov 22, 2017 John Wayne
Nov 22, 2017 K L.

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