by Maxine Rose
Sun, November 12th 2023, 12:26 AM EST
DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHP) — On this Veterans Day, we recognize the struggles many face due to mental illness.
In the United States, approximately 17 veterans die by suicide every day, according to data by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It was a little bit traumatizing but, you know, we got through it,” said Vietnam veteran Robert Marshall.
Another army soldier, Staff Sgt. Joe Shue, who has been serving the country for 13 years, says he feels similarly.
“It is hard. You just have to learn how to kind of adapt,” he said.
These two men shared their experiences fighting for our freedom, telling CBS21 News how it has affected their lives.
“When you come home from nine, 10, 11 months gone, you expect things to be kind of how you left them, and they’re never that way,” said Shue.
Many of our veterans have witnessed the unimaginable, and it can take a serious toll on their mental health.
“A lot of veterans not only don’t know what services are there but they may not think they deserve them,” said Laura Maggiorini, program coordinator at Veterans Multi-Service Center.
In fact, veterans are 1.5 times more likely to take their own lives than non-veterans in the U.S.
“They get evaluated but they tell the doctors what they wanna hear,” said Marshall.
We sat down with Maggiorini to learn more about VMC’s suicide prevention program, named after Staff Sgt. Parker Gordon Fox, a sniper instructor who died by suicide in 2020 at the age of 25.
“What we do is we provide a peer support specialist who is a veteran with a lived experience of a mental health crisis,” said Maggiorini.
Help offered in Central PA is waiting to be taken advantage of, she said.
“Lots of people do a lot for our veterans, and our veterans need it,” said Shoe. “There are some that are struggling, and it’s just good to know that there are people around that they can turn to.”
The VMC offers plenty of other resources for veterans, including housing assistance and employment services. They also help connect veterans with additional services in the area. To learn more about what they do and how they can help you or your loved ones, click here.
Veterans and service members seeking mental health support can also dial 988 to reach the veterans crisis line.