User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

52° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.


[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news


Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Preventing Suicides Among Veterans

January 25, 2013, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Preventing Suicides Among Veterans

Suicides are on the rise in the US military. Now the VA is doing its best to save veterans.

Pat Sheppard knows all about the diverse expectations and issues veterans go through. He served in the Marine Corps in the 1960s.

"I was just angry. I was angry because everybody in my platoon went to Vietnam," Sheppard said.

Instead of going to Vietnam, Sheppard was assigned to working in a communications center in North Carolina.

"When I got out, it was hard for me to adjust in that my friends had all gone to Vietnam and I didn't. That always bothered me and that still bothers me," Sheppard said.

Other veterans have dealt with issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression or suicidal thoughts.

Unfortunately, suicides are becoming more common in the U.S. Military. There were around 350 last year. That's more than the number of American combat deaths in Afghanistan last year.

"Actually for veterans who are involved in VA care, the numbers have gone down in the neighborhood of about 20 to 30 percent," VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator Janell Christenson said.  "The biggest thing we try to do is decrease the stigma because many veterans feel that they don't want to ask for help," Christenson said.

If a veteran does not ask for help, some of the warning signs include poor concentration, an increase in drinking or drug use, relationship problems or anxiety.

"When people feel so nervous that they feel like they're jumping out of their skin," Christenson said.

As a veteran, Sheppard emphasizes the importance of seeking help. He knows first-hand the issues veterans can deal with and how difficult it is to seek help.

"It's a really hard thing. It's like defeat. None of us like to have a problem we like to solve ourselves," Sheppard said.

To get help, veterans and their families can call the VA's Veteran's Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 and then press one.

Previous Story

Next Story




View healthbeat

You may also like

General Mills Recalling 1.8M Cheerios Boxes On Allergy Risk

10/5/2015 4:40 PM

General Mills is recalling 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at a plant in Lodi, California, saying the cereal is labeled ...

Full Story
Crowdfunding An Adoption

10/2/2015 6:18 PM

An increasing number of people are using crowdfunding for adoption, or in-vitro fertilization.

Full Story | Watch
The Importance Of Annual Screenings For Men

10/5/2015 6:13 PM

One of the biggest health mistakes many men make is not regularly going to the doctor for screenings.

Full Story | Watch
Bringing Medical Care To The Home

10/6/2015 6:11 PM

After spending weeks in the VA hospital the road to recovery is now a bit easier.

Full Story | Watch
A Pre-Hunting Workout

10/8/2015 12:35 PM

One of the ways you can protect yourself is to get into shape before hitting the field.

Full Story