From the Person Who Knows-A discussion with a combat veteran

Mental Health Needs More Support


Brett Sayles

A shadowed American flag with a soldier saluting to the audience.

Josh McGinty, 8th Grade Cedar Grove Middle School


Josh McGinty

So, in one of my past articles, I wrote about teen suicide. Since then, I talked with Mr. John Hacker, a Vietnam veteran, about this issue. Mr. Hacker is actively involved in veteran suicide programs as Commander of the John E. Jacobs American Legion Post 68 in Leland. I just want to talk about some of the things he told me.


The first thing he told me was that not many people know how traumatizing it is to go to war. To do some things that you are not proud of, which we all have similar stories, but I just want to clarify that you don’t know what they did or what they saw overseas. So, to go home with that is a pretty heavy burden to carry. Our veterans act like it isn’t a big deal. They are soldiers and they should be able to process their feelings. However, they don’t talk about and then all of it eventually boils over and some commit suicide. It’s sad, very sad.

Dan Dodge

The people that are defending our home are not getting enough love and support and we need to bring more awareness to the problem. When you call the suicide hotline, if you press the one key, it will bring you to a veteran helpline. Yes, that is a thing and not enough people know about it.

Now there is a big difference between teen and veteran suicide, but it all comes down to the fact that they need to feel like they can talk about it. So if you’re reading this and you feel like the only way you can get out all of your stress and problems is to kill yourself, talk to someone. Please! There is always someone who will listen. Just remember, the last thing that he told me was. “Keep your feet on the ground, but reach for the stars.”