18 Veterans a Day are Killing Themselves
Seattle, WA, February, 2010 – The reality of the War affecting our soldiers
The United States Military is facing some serious challenges these days, and it’s not with Al Qaeda. It’s with their soldiers.
Over 300,000 military service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are reporting symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)—a leading indicator of suicide.
American troops are taking their own lives in the largest numbers since records began to be kept in 1980. The army suicide rate is now higher than that among the general American population, calculated as 20.2 per 100,000 soldiers, compared with 19.5 per 100,000 civilians.
As a result, CBE (Center for Bible Engagement) launched 411 God Hope for the Heroes , a high-touch, high-tech suicide prevention tool specifically designed to reach at-risk service men and women with daily 60-second inspirational mobile phone messages.
“Can a scripture a day help keep the demons away from the over 300,000 active soldiers currently suffering from PTSD? The Center for Bible Engagement says “unequivocally yes”.
Dr. Arnie Cole, a former mental health professional and CBE’s Director of Research & Development, conducted extensive research on the link between behavior and Bible reading including a 5-year study concluding that those who read or listen to the Bible at least four times a week are more likely to successfully navigate societal ills: emotional sickness, marital problems, drug dependency—all issues suffered greater by PTSD sufferers.
“I have PTSD,” states Army Veteran Michael. “I know when I got it — the night I killed an 8-year-old girl. Her family was trying to cross a checkpoint. We’d just shot three guys who’d tried to run a checkpoint. And during that mess, they were just trying to get through to get away from it all. And we ended up shooting all them, too. It was a family of six. The only one that survived was a 13-month-old and her mother. And the worst part about it all was that where I shot my bullets, when I went to see what I’d shot at, there was an 8-year-old girl there. I tried my best to bring her back to life, but there was no use. But that’s what triggered my depression.”
Private 1st class Jason is also a PTSD sufferer who signed up for 411God Hope for the Heroes. “I signed up for 411God, sorta on a whim, never realizing the impact it would have–it brought me hope. I started to get strength from that little phone call each day to start looking for a job, to move home and to share a little of what was going on in my head…now i have something else to think about besides my time overseas, i have something that gives me hope.”