JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – So far this year there have been four suicides by members of the Missouri National Guard.
“Well one suicide is too many,” says Gary Gilmore, Joint Force Chaplain/Senior Army and Air National Guard. “Four is not okay.”
Gilmore tells KMOX News that with National Guard soldiers serving an average of three deployments the challenge of reintegrating into civilian life is extremely difficult.
“When an active-duty unit comes back they go right back to their same job, same pay, same health insurance, same everything,” Gilmore explains. “A National Guard soldier comes back from war and he gets six months of medical benefits.”
He says that’s about the time that symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) begin showing up.
Chaplain Gilmore says there have been cases where they’ve been able to intervene when they become aware that a soldier may be considering suicide.
The goal is to increase awareness and let soldiers know that help is available.
September is Suicide Prevention Month.