WILMINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs has not made a dent in stemming the approximately 20 suicide deaths every day among veterans — about one-and-a-half times more often than those who have not served in the military, according to the most recent statistics available from the department.
Each year in September, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness.
The Clinton County Veterans Service Office — with the support of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mental Health Recovery Service of Warren and Clinton Counties and the Wilmington Counseling Associates — plan on organizing an event at the Clinton County Veterans Memorial called “Silent Watch.”
The goal is to bring about awareness of the suicides in the veteran community.
Volunteers, veterans and non-veterans would perform a silent watch for approximately 20 minutes in front of a flag-draped casket. The watch would begin on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.
The first Silent Watch last September was very well received and supported by volunteers and we are hopeful that the 2020 Silent Watch will be supported once again, according to Ray Souder of the Clinton County Veterans Service Office.
If anyone would like to give 20 minutes of his or her time to stand a Silent Watch, contact the Clinton County Veterans Service Office at 937-382-3233.