“Today, we reached a milestone. I now know more vets who have died due to their own hand than the enemy. Thanks for all you do with this issue, man, but it sometimes seems overwhelming.”
That’s a message that I received last night. Unfortunately, I receive messages like this often.
When someone loses a loved one to suicide – veteran or not – I’ll receive a message.
Sometimes I get updates with a running count. Sometimes they’re admitting their own personal struggles. For some, it’s the first message they’ve ever sent me.
1, 2, Many took a break over winter. I needed to refocus, reorganize, obtain some new material, and get some technical things worked out.
During that hiatus, I wondered about the effectiveness of my program. I see new efforts pop up every day. None are directly comparable to mine – a podcast of these stories – but they’re similar in mission. Could my efforts plateau? Could they even decline? Are those ideas even worth pondering?
No, they’re not.
The messages I receive remind me how important these efforts are. They remind me that my program may be the inspiration for the newest ventures others are taking against suicide. They remind me that I vowed to continue this program as long as I had stories to share.
The stories keep coming in. Courageous veterans and their loved ones continue to contact me with interest in sharing their powerful stories.
1, 2, Many pushes on.
Thank you for reminding me how important this program is; and thank you for showing my guests that their stories matter.