Once a Soldier – The Voice of Veteran Families After a Soldier Suicide

Once a Soldier – The Voice of Veteran Families After a Soldier Suicide

Because Veteran Families Serve Just Like the Soldier

Since the beginning of the Stop Soldier Suicide era, the number 22 has been synonomous with the heartbreak and sadness. From our point of view, what happens after a veteran suicide doesn’t get enough attention. That’s why Once a Soldier was founded.

Veteran families of soldier suicide tells us that, after a suicide, that the actual suicide becomes the least of their problems. Money and the business of death become their enemy. 

The Silver Lining Project

Financial Aid Directly Applied to Their Funeral Expenses

Veterans who have fallen through the ever-widening gaps of the failing VA end up as Once a Soldier families. Many veterans transition to civilian life with very little bumps. Some try to live life with PTSD and it gets the best of them. Those are our families and their life is not easy. Neither is their death.

The chart below shows the average costs of a funeral. There’s a misconception that that VA pays for a veterans’ funeral costs. Not true. Our veteran families are living paycheck to paycheck and to suddenly pay thousands of dollars for a flight or for a funeral home is simply not possible.

Military Deaths and PTSD

PTSD is the Deadly Gift that Keeps on Giving

A traumtic incident can occur out of nowhere. Driving to the store for a coffee can end up with a tragic accident. PTSD can come with it. Family members can and do find their dead veterans. Imagine walking into the bathroom and seeing that. Of course it’s hard for anyone to forget and move on. We know that every member of our families deal with PTSD-related issues every minute of every day.

From the beginning of modern day warfare, PTSD packed along in every American war. Using different names such as “shell shock”, PTSD was only recognized as a distinct disorder in the 1980’s. In earlier wars such as World War II, 37% of soldiers who saw direct combat were discharged for psychiatric reasons and 24% of soldiers who saw direct combat in the Korean War were discharged for psychiatric reasons. That’s 1 out of 4 men, and for us, that’s 25% of their families, too. Veteran families of soldier suicide pay that same price.