Giving Our Veterans a Brighter Future, Aftermath Inc Comments

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The U.S. military is confronting a serious problem regarding their veterans, states Aftermath, Inc. The issue is that a surprisingly large number of America’s veterans are struggling with depression and committing suicide.

As a crime scene and trauma cleaning company, Aftermath, Inc., is involved in the aftermath of many these suicides and has stepped in to share its concerns.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 22 veterans take their own lives each day. To put it another way, that’s a rate of one every 80 minutes. The U.S. Department of Defense reports that a study released by the Center for a New American Security showed that while only one percent of Americans have served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans make up 20 percent of suicides in the U.S.


CNN reports that more than 69 percent of veteran suicides were among older veterans, who may also have mental health problems or struggle with family or marriage problems. These veterans had no outlet for their emotions and no way to effectively work through their experiences.

Unfortunately, these statistics may not be complete, as there is no uniform standard for reporting deaths in America, Luana Ritch tells CNN.

Often, she says, making note of veteran status is something that can be overlooked or simply left off of the death certificate. Another reason why these statistics could be incomplete includes the fact that manner of death can cloud whether the death was a suicide or an accident.

Aftermath, Inc.’s, employees feel these losses on a personal level, as many of their technicians and supervisors are veterans.

“While it gives us pride as a company to employ a number of veterans,” Aftermath, Inc., states, “it is saddening when they find themselves removing evidence of a traumatic death from a fellow veteran’s home after a suicide or other violent act. The hardest part of the job… is the emotional aspect of seeing devastating situations everyday.”

Fortunately, there are programs out there to assist those in need. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that after an Executive Order from the president, the VA has completed hiring additional staff to better serve the Veterans Crisis Line, which continues to receive more and more calls. Between October 2006 and June 2013, the Veterans Crisis Line received more than 890,000 calls, according to CNN.

In addition, Veteran’s Affairs has introduced a year long public awareness campaign named “Stand By Them” to help educate families and others about supporting veterans and service members in need.

Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia shared with the Defense Department what the military is doing to stop these unfortunate events, saying, “Since 2000, the military has implemented several initiatives designed to identify those service members at risk for suicide. We enabled some … tracking methods, to help us better understand suicide; we built some resiliency programs into our system.”

Battaglia believes that along with properly training service members, the commanders’ principal focus should be on providing them support.

He adds, “A lot of responsibility lies on the commander for establishing and maintaining a [positive command] climate, [but] all of that commander’s subordinate leaders share a similar responsibility … all in support of the mission and welfare of that organization.”

Many stations have special programs and activities organized to help service men and women stay involved and connect at a personal level. For example, the USO in Camp Buehring, a station in Kuwait, provides activities like weekly Texas Hold‘em games, special dinner nights, movies and sports games like ping pong for any who want to participate. This station places special focus on these events in an effort to keep service members in good cheer in the vast Kuwaiti desert.

“The mental health and well-being of our courageous men and women who have served the Nation is the highest priority for VA, and even one suicide is one too many,” said Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “We have more work to do and we will use this data to continue to strengthen our suicide prevention efforts and ensure all Veterans receive the care they have earned and deserve.”

Aftermath, Inc., wholeheartedly agrees with this statement. The company believes in spreading awareness and knowledge to not only help the veterans who struggle with this problem but also support the families who are also involved in this troubling issue.

They believe that supporting our veterans by providing them with outlets for their frustration and emotion and offering them a safe place to come back to and blend with society will improve the lives of these men and women.

“It’s terrible whenever a life is lost and it could have been prevented. As a country, we can do much more to address this issue,” states Aftermath, Inc.


Ryann Carlson contributed to this article.