NEWTON COUNTY, MO – It’s been two decades since the beginning of the “War on Terror.”
And the results of a new study indicate how much it’s affected the men and women who have been in the battle.
A study out of “Brown University” shows four times more active service members and veterans have taken their life over the last 20 years, than have died on the battle field.
7,000 soldiers have been killed in action since the War on Terror started.
30,000 have committed suicide during that same time period.
Ted Donaldson started Compass Quest back in 2015 for this very reason, to prevent veteran suicides.
“Try and get engaged in something in your community, there are lots of programs, there are lots of activities, lots of volunteer activities to do something in your community, and in that process you build new friendships, you build new bonds, you get to meet other people that have a common background with you, and maybe you get involved in something that has a lot of meaning for you.” Says Donaldson.
“Brotherhood of Warriors is a local non profit organization that helps veterans re-assimilate back into the public, sometimes we help dependents, sometimes we just help veterans get back on their feet and help them through these tough times.” says Jimmy Burgess, Brotherhood of Warriors.
Brotherhood is one of several veteran run groups that’s formed in the last few years.
And Burgess says the more time that vets spend with other vets, the better.
“Encourage them to surround themselves with other veterans too, that’s probably one of the most important things, we find that when you get veterans around veterans they tend to be able to talk to each other better and enjoy each other’s company, and it’s so important for other family members to understand you know why a lot of us get together as other much as we do, because it helps us cope and move on in society.” Says Burgess.
Whether you’ve served or not, Burgess says there is one thing anyone can do to help someone who’s serving or has served their country get through a difficult time.
“A lot of it is doing normal basic human buddy checks, being empathetic, being that ear, don’t have the answer, just listen, encourage them.” Says Burgess.