Across the nation, this month is all about Suicide Prevention. Most of the people reading these articles know the military rates of suicide are extremely high. Too high.Over the weekend, posts started circulating about two suicides surrounding a Naval Aircraft Carrier. After reviewing headlines, it has been confirmed by the Navy that four suicides have taken place by sailors attached to the George H. W. Bush aircraft carrier. Four. Three of those happened in the last week. All of them since July.While we hate to bring down the tone of our usual upbeat and sarcastic nature, this needs to be addressed. Suicide among our peers is happening at catastrophic rates. While the investigations for these particular suicides are still ongoing, something more needs to be done.Reach out to your team, connect with them. If someone who is usually a chatty Cathy is suddenly quiet, don't bask in the silence- ASK WHAT IS WRONG. We cannot tell you how many times conversations have been started over the simplest "Hey, is everything okay today?" and ended with that person saying "Hey, I really needed to let that out, thank you."Too many times, the issue gets ignored because that person is quiet about whatever is going on. We aren't saying you have to know the full down and dirty details, but we are saying you should know the basic financial, marital, physical and mental well-being of your team. If you don't, fix it. Start the conversations, and charge your junior peers to do the same.We can only hope the command teams of the aforementioned aircraft carrier are taking the appropriate measures to stop this from happening any more. They have a special psychiatric rapid intervention team — SPRINT aboard, so hopefully those that need to reach out, do.Lastly, if you have something going on, speak up. We don't care if you are the tip of the spear or the dirt on the grip, tell someone what is going on with you. If someone brushes you off, go to someone else and don't stop until you are heard, please.We are a team, a brother and sisterhood. We hate when we have to read about anyone's death, especially suicide because it means that person did not feel they had someone to trust, to listen, to be there for them.Be the change, be the voice, advocate, make this stop.Veteran's Crisis Line:
- 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1
- Text 838255
*This article was edited to correct the fact the sailors were not physically on the ship when they committed suicide, rather they were attached to it while it was docked.