September 11th gives us another reason to appreciate our veterans and first responders. Unfortunately, veterans who are 50 and older represent the biggest group of soldier suicides. On average, twenty veterans die by suicide each day. Retired Colonel David Lewis says there are a few common factors that lead to tragedy.
"A lot of it is when you feel there's no hope left. There really is a permanent solution to temporary problems and I can't stress that enough. The problems are always temporary no matter how bad they may seem at any given time," Lewis said.
There are common signs which can tell if someone you love is suffering.
"Suicide prevention is about eyes and ears in the community. If someone is isolating, when someone who is normally very quiet is having a drastic change in behavior becomes active or very different or if someone is usually very exuberant that is normally very quiet, that could end up being a tell tale sign," Lewis said.
Lewis advises to deal with a suffering friend or loved one in the most direct way possible.
"Ask them straight up, and then ask them if they have a plan. That's the important thing here. We can get to people and we can help them out."
He advises to reach out to the suicide hotline if you or a loved one is suffering. The hotline number is 806-470-9317.