Suicide prevention was addressed at a joint meeting of the Sun Lakes VFW Post and Auxiliary. Post Commander Neal Peer and Auxiliary President Betty Peer welcomed Danny Hughes (1st Lieutenant/Arizona National Guard and Pastor at Chandler Community Church) to address the critical suicide prevention and awareness needs of our veterans and their families. Lt. Hughes pointed out the grim reality, “Nearly everyone in our society has been affected by suicide.” Our military is increasingly implementing comprehensive soldier and family awareness and prevention. However, with suicide being the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., we all need to be prepared. Lt Hughes provided some key immediate support contacts such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255), Maricopa County Crisis Line 602-222-9444 and in an emergency situation 911.
Centers for Disease Control estimate that 18 veterans from all wars commit suicide every day – that’s 6,500 a year. National Commander of the VFW Glen Gardner has called us to get involved today and stated, “VFW’s mission is to ‘Honor the dead by helping the living;’ and, I can think of no more immediate cause to rally behind than to help those who can benefit from a firm handshake, a sympathetic ear and a sincere thank you for doing one’s duty.” The Sun Lakes community has done this and more – you have supported your Post 8053 through participation in Bingo which funds veterans support programs as well as donated key items that address veteran homelessness and other emergency needs. Thank you!