Any of our veterans today know the significance of “22”. However, many outside of our veterans community may not.
“22” is a very sad and heart rendering statistic. It represents the number of combat veterans each and every day that fail to cope with the invisible wounds of war and succumb by taking their own lives.
The FOCUS program in conjunction with our strategic partners – Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, and USMC Wounded Warrior Regiment – work diligently to be aware of situations where one of our FOCUS graduates may be in danger of becoming a statistic. We provide coping skills and a deep support infrastructure to help these young men and women cope with the emotional wounds of war and get the support they need when they need it the most.
In the upcoming months FMF will continue developing procedures to further enhance our support. But what can you do to help eliminate this statistic? Here are some suggestions…
- FOCUS graduates – check in with your ‘fire team’ at least once a month – the 22nd of each month would be a good day to shout out to your buddies – call, don’t just text or email. People can seldom hide their true feelings when they are being addressed personally. Also, if you haven’t already joined the private “FOCUS Graduate” Facebook group, sign up for it now. FMF will be checking with all members of this group on the 22nd of each month. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- If you know a veteran or see one in public, thank them for their service, and always ask “How are you doing?” You will see the true answer in their eyes. If it’s apparent that they are struggling get pertinent contact information and run it up to FOCUS at our email@example.com
- Check in with people you may know on social media to see how they’re getting by. Watch for signs on social media of anger, anxiety, futility, major life upheavals (breakups and divorces). These are always indicators of hopelessness which may lead to a life-threating event.
- If you know of anyone personally that is in crisis, and needs immediate help, go to the FMF Crisis webpage at https://focusmarines.org/help-now/ where we have listed contact information for a series of crisis intervention services.
Working together, we all can have a major impact on “22”.