Can there be a more eloquent way to reduce the alarming rate of suicides by military veterans than by engaging their acquired skills in ways that benefit those around them while enriching their own sense of purpose? Likely not!
Even the economic upshot is a great win.
The rate of suicides among veterans age 21-44 is about 160% greater than that of non-veterans.
In short, Dr. Schupp has just returned from DC. He went to meet with the Military Fellows, veterans who serve as Congressional interns, to pressure their congressional offices to push a grant program to establish community service groups on 1000 campuses across the nation. He is aiming for $300,000 per campus.
These grants will fund groups composed of civilian students and veteran students alike. The groups will jointly establish and execute project plans aimed at improving the community around them. Veterans will gain by enjoying a greater sense of purpose for their past service and sacrifice for our great country. Civilian students will not only gain by a greater appreciation of what we have asked our service members to do, but also from the veterans' ingrained sense of teamwork, camaraderie and leadership.
The grant program total is just a fraction of what some companies get each year in subsidies. The benefits are publicly shared, not kept privately.
For several years Dr. Schupp has been exhaustively examining 70 variables across data from our military history as they relate to veteran post-service outcomes. With particular attention to those periods during and after conflict, both popular and not, Schupp's solution to part of this insidious problem, is soundly grounded.
The re-assimilation of veterans back into civilian society, particularly after serving in extended conflicts, can be difficult. It can be a very isolating experience, even when 100's of other people are milling about or even engaging them.
Many veterans articulate extensively about the greater world around them from perspectives beyond the imagination of most civilians. Their experiences in both peacetime and war, cannot help but shape and deepen their convictions. Not all veterans look at the greater world from the same perspective, either. The way in which they individually do, will almost always be distinct and often more deeply held than those of any of the lifelong civilians around them.
Imagine the benefits we would reap, the families kept intact, if we didn't lose nearly a veteran a day to suicide.
Imagine the greater appreciation of the world and sense of purpose by those these veterans would interact with as they pursued common goals for the benefit of all.
The country owes every resource it can muster to aid those who have stepped forward to serve when called upon by us, as a democratic republic, through our leaders. Whether or not you agree with any given deployment(s), don't forget - we're still a democratic republic, we are all still required to be collectively responsible to those who served, if not also - and preferably - individually, too.
Imagine how much less likely wars might be other than for the truest of reasons.
Sign the petition and then CALL your representative and senators. Do not let them make excuses, money cannot be the reason. If it is, you have to question their morality, they or their predecessors started the conflicts, the costs must be paid.
A POWERFUL, moving story & fast read by an Iraq veteran can be found here http://bit.ly/1979ZKm from New Mexico State University veteran student Matt Hopper
A background can be found in this newspaper article http://bit.ly/1bpMSvt
A Proud Veteran
Fund Dr. Schupp's Grant Request for 1000 colleges to cut veteran suicides
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