Every day, we lose 22 veterans to suicide.  It’s the internal battle that is unseen and often not discussed.  Those who return from battle and suffer from PTSD and/or traumatic brain injury often suffer from depression and social isolation.  While there are resources available to veterans, many find it difficult to seek that help, while others have to wait for a long period of time to get help through the VA.

As a U.S. Navy Veteran myself, these veterans are my bothers and sisters, and I am committed to do all I can to reduce suicide in our ranks.  As a Candidate for U.S. Senate, I propose the following solution:

A 1% tax on all military contracts that will raise funds to build and run community-based “Veterans Clubs,” (VC).  The clubs will be modern, attractive, spacious and comfortable facilities where veterans can come and simply hang out with other veterans in a casual and convivial atmosphere.  They can get a meal, watch a football game, play pool or basketball and simply talk to one another.  VC’s will be staffed by other veterans, who are trained in peer-to-peer counseling, and who can get people talking about what is going on in their lives.  VC’s will also be a place where veterans can go to get job leads, assistance in filing for benefits, and information about the many private charities and organizations that serve veterans.  VC’s can also host AA and other addiction support group meetings for veterans. Isolation is one of the main problems facing our veterans.  It contributes to depression, addiction, and too often, suicide.  The VC’s can be a first line of defense to reduce this isolation and for veterans to get the help they need.

Mission 22, is an organization that is working to raise awareness of the rampant suicide among our veterans.  They have initiated the 22/22 online challenge in which each person commits to doing 22 pushups for 22 days, posting about it and challenging others to join in.  This June, I am taking up the challenge, and I hope you will join me.  Find out more about Mission 22 at www.mission22.com