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The Mass Media

Veterans helping other veterans to find alternatives to suicide

Daniel Mayka  - SSGT - U. A. Army - Bravo OIF I II/OEF 2002 - 2012

Daniel Mayka  – SSGT – U. A. Army – Bravo OIF I II/OEF 2002 – 2012

Fort Bragg recently reported the death of a young female soldier who killed herself.  Private First Class (PFC) Kathijah Anis Badrulhaimi, 22, of Apple Valley, MN, was found dead at her off-base residence on Saturday, according to Fayetteville Police. Suicides among soldiers have often been attributed to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 

PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a mentally or physically scarring event, whether it be experienced or witnessed. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
TBI, also known as intracranial injury, occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. TBI can be classified based on severity, and is a broader category because it can involve damage to structures other than the brain, such as the scalp and skull.

According to recent statistics, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. That’s about one every hour, 154 a week, 660 a month, 8,000 a year. More soldiers died in the U.S. military in 2012 of suicide than in combat in Afghanistan.

According to an online article written by Chris W. Sweet, active duty suicides in the military jumped by 30%, in 2012. One suicide takes place every 24 hours.  
As of July 14, 2014, the military had recorded 161 suicides, slightly up from 2013’s 154 suicides, according to the Associated Press.

The 259 total suicides for the full year of 2013, however, represented a sharp decline from a spike to 319 in 2012.
Being diagnosed with PTSD or TBI leaves one’s family members with a sense of confusion and wondering what they could have done to prevent the ongoing pain. The families of veterans who commit suicide often need financial assistance but they can’t bear facing the paperwork required to access their benefits

According to the Army Times, an Oklahoma volunteer by the name of Shirley Clark-Cowdin personally accompanies widows and widowers to apply for their survivor benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 
Other organizations, like Stop Soldier Suicide, are working with veterans to create goals, and through this help those who suffer from PTSD/TBI manage and deal with this issue, so it has provided a hopeful outcome for our nation’s heroes.