I was talking to a friend of mine that spent quite a bit of time in Iraq and Afghanistan serving for the U.S. Army. We never really talk about "over there" unless he brings it up first as it's still a sore subject for him. I asked him what was up...as he definitely seemed down. Turns out he just found out one of the guys in his unit had taken his life a few days ago. He read to me a recent post from his Facebook that said:

"My own personal hell has been reignited, in light of present circumstances affecting us all. This pandemic, although viral in nature; alludes to what happens to us as human beings, when we are stripped of our outlets and are deprived of our ability to socialize."

It appeared he had been pushed over the edge by the isolation of Covid-19.

Although I do not have the specifics of his death, what can be deducted from that post, is that young vet was still suffering from the mental, emotional and physical injuries of combat and the shelter in place aggravated and added to his suffering.

Vets who are challenged with post-traumatic stress, are told not to isolate. Yet during this pandemic, the world is being encouraged and, in some cases, forced to isolate.

Hearing that tragedy really drove home the reality and need to understand the challenges our veterans face already fighting their own demons, and now having to face new challenges that come about through the required self-isolation period can claim their lives is indeed a really sad fact.

So join me and take this time to reach out to those who may be suffering in silence. Give them a call, send a text, reach out to see if they are OK. If you are a veteran having a tough time with the feelings of being alone, reach out now.

You can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or if you prefer, call the Veteran Center hotline to talk with another combat vet at 1-877-927-8387

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