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OCTOBER 8, 2013
I am a little behind in posting work so this post is coming later than I originally wanted but it is nevertheless, still important, especially now with certain military services cut because of a trite game being played out in Congress. I will keep my commentary minimal as I think the statistics will speak volumes well enough on it's own. This was a commissioned but eventually unpublished piece stopped during sketch phase. I thought this sketch idea was powerful and the subject was important to me so I followed through with finishing the piece.

I am very much one to hope that our country can pull itself together to give health services to its people. The average people populating our country. It goes without saying, that the very people defending our country so that Americans have the freedom to have access to various forms of healthcare should remain at the top of the list to receive it.

The preventative care for military vets suffering from PTSD is awful. Even more, screening of people entering the services is horrendous as a high percentage of military personell who have committed suicide weren't ever deployed or suffered from PTSD. That number is approximately 50%. There is a push to have more preventative care services added to the military but it comes down to available resources and lack of funding. It has also been argued that if people joining in the services have a history of mental illness, it is considered a 'workman's comp' issue and is used as a method to prevent giving funds to the service member. If it is found that the service member has gained the mental illness by being in the service, they will have to pay for services for the rest of the service members life - which is what some are trying not to do.

Saving money or saving a life? Whether in the military or as a civilian, our healthcare system shouldn't have to consider money or profit over a treatable person's life.

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. From 2011 to 2012, there was a 15% increase in suicides by U.S. vets.

* The U.S. Army has the highest suicide rate, 182 active duty suicide deaths last year.
* Suicide is now the most common form of death in the Army, claiming more lives annually than combat.
* Veteran suicide rates are substantially higher than those of active duty personnel. A veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes.
* According to new data from the VA, veterans make up about 20 percent of the suicide deaths in the U.S. even though they make up only 1 percent of the population.
* New research suggests suicide risk for family members increases once a servicemember has committed suicide.

Statistics from MOAA