White Background

UNEXPECTED VOICES STORIES & NEWS

JOSHUA OMVIG VETERANS SUICIDE PREVENTION ACT OF 2007

Joshua Omvig was a twenty-two-year-old veteran Army specialist from Gillette, Wyoming, who served an eleven-month tour of duty in northern Iraq with the 339th Military Police Company.1 Omvig returned from Iraq in 2005, less than a week before Thanksgiving.2 While his family members celebrated the holiday and shared stories of the year’s events, Omvig— “Josh” to his family—kept his thoughts on his experience overseas to him- self.3 He soon began to show signs of depression, suffering from flashbacks and nightmares, and he ultimately confided to his family that he believed he had post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”).

LEARN MORE...

A HEART BREAKING STORY

Matt and Heidi both are from Ohio, but they met in Georgia about 20 years ago.

They didn't start dating right away. That came later after he enlisted in the Army."I think he went in. He was about 26 when he joined," Heidi McCarthy said. "He went in because of 9-11"

9-11 was also his birthday, and after 2001 he didn't celebrate that day.

"When I came into the picture was when he came back here after boot camp, and we started dating then. It was 2005," Heidi said.

They were married two years later. Matt was a bomb tech. He did several tours to combat zones. LEARN MORE...

SUICIDE PREVENTION: ONE MARINE'S STORY

Jason Mosel remembers the hardest day of his life. It was the day his friend and fellow Marine, Geoffrey Morris, wasblown apart by a rocket-propelled grenade. This memory almost killed him. 

Mosel served three tours of duty, two of them in Iraq. After he came home, he thought he was the same person he’d always been. But his wife, his friends, and his family knew better. As time passed, Mosel tried to ignore the fact that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was drinking too much, and all the while his mind was slowly convincing him to do what nearly two dozen soldiers and veterans do every day in the U.S. LEARN MORE...

RUDY HEWITT37, AIR FORCE VETERAN

Jason Mosel remembers the hardest day of his life. It was the day his friend and fellow Marine, Geoffrey Morris, wasblown apart by a rocket-propelled grenade. This memory almost killed him. 

Mosel served three tours of duty, two of them in Iraq. After he came home, he thought he was the same person he’d always been. But his wife, his friends, and his family knew better. As time passed, Mosel tried to ignore the fact that he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He was drinking too much, and all the while his mind was slowly convincing him to do what nearly two dozen soldiers and veterans do every day in the U.S. LEARN MORE...

YEARS OF FAILURE

More veterans die by suicide every two days than were killed in action last year. After almost two decades of post-9/11 conflicts, lawmakers and Defense Department officials are no closer to ending the suicide crisis.

 

There’s no single cause, no “type” of veteran, no guarantee of access to mental health care, no single solution. The funding is there — the Department of Veterans Affairs is the second-largest federal agency, behind the DOD in size and budget — and there has been little pushback on the 14% boost in funding requested for 2021. LEARN MORE...

Mom of veteran who died by suicide says she told hospital, 'Do not let him go home alone'

O'Hearn battled post-traumatic stress disorder for years. In 2016, he put a homemade shotgun to his chest and fired. He survived, spending the next few weeks in a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Sacramento, California.

As her son recovered, Robin worried what he would do when he left the VA hospital. She says she begged the hospital to keep him. "He's isolated himself," she remembers saying. "Please do not let him go. Do not let him go home alone."

 

LEARN MORE...