Addressing PTSD in veterans, remembering those struggling coming off the battlefield

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Across the Tri-Cities Monday, people gathered to pay tribute to the men and women who died serving our country. 

People gathered at the Veterans Memorial in J. Fred Johnson Park to honor the memories of the fallen who called Kingsport home. 

The Memorial Day service was conducted by the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council. The Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council is a regional organization based out of Kingsport. 

The president of the council, Ernie Rumsby, spoke to News Channel 11 about the men and women we lost not in war, but because of PTSD. Something that some of our men and women in uniform deal with after coming off the battlefield. 

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 15% of Vietnam War Veterans struggle with PTSD. 

The Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council conducts a PTSD townhall every year working with the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network and the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services. This year the town hall will take place in September. 

President of the council, Ernie Rumsby, says PTSD is a growing issue that people need to be aware of, 

“As far as suicide prevention goes, I am one of the task force members. We meet periodically in Nashville and we discuss veterans suicide because those numbers are starting to be on an uptake and we have some concerns.”

A new act called the Mission Act is supposed to take place on June 6.

This act will improve access to health care for veterans through the VA, helping those who struggle with PTSD and other healthcare issues. 

The mission act was signed by President Trump last year on June 6, 2018. 

If you are a veteran or know a veteran that you believe could be in a crisis, there are several steps you can take. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are 24/7 services that you can reach out to. 

  • You can call the veterans crisis line at (888) 640-5443.
  • Go to veteranscrisisline.net
  • Text 838255
  • Or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255

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