What’s the news: American Legion Post 171 in Crystal Lake, Ill., held its second annual Vets 4 Veterans and Blue Families event June 11 to raise awareness about PTSD and veteran suicide. About 40 vendors shared resources with veterans and their families. “The whole idea is to bring together resources that veterans and first responders were not aware of. We figured, ‘Why can’t we be the navigator for that veteran?’” senior vice commander Robert Dorn said.
Why it matters: Approximately 20 veterans take their own life every day. In response, The American Legion’s new Be The One campaign aims to raise awareness about the veteran suicide rate and empower everyone to take the initiative to save the life of a veteran who is at risk.
Key takeaway: Among the speakers during Post 171’s daylong event was Medal of Honor recipient Allen Lynch. A Vietnam War veteran, Lynch previously worked as a benefits counselor for his local VA hospital. His post-traumatic stress disorder led to drinking, violence and depression. Another speaker was Army Reserve Lt. Col. Jennifer Miller, a suicide prevention liaison at Fort McCoy, Wis. She detailed a program that aims to reduce the stigma and prevent suicide among active-duty troops and reserves. Assisting veterans and servicemembers from all war eras is a priority of The American Legion.
In-depth: Post 171’s event is an example of how Legionnaires are taking the lead to Be The One to offer awareness, solutions and support in their communities. Read more about their approach, how it started and where it’s going.
Resources: Learn more about the Be The One campaign, Legion.org/betheone.