Citizens of El Dorado County can help prevent military suicides by committing to the well-being of young people before they enlist. As a military chaplain with peace time and war zone experience, I have worked with service members from all backgrounds — soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members who thrive from supportive families and communities. Stable foundations lead to stronger people.
Help build up resilient people in the military before they arrive at basic training. Examples:
• Coach youth sports — learning team work and sportsmanship promotes health;
• Volunteer in schools — children need positive adult role models;
• Sponsor your church/synagogue/mosque youth group — a healthy spiritual life is essential for facing the rigors of the military and beyond.
Preventing suicide in the military begins long before men and women join our ranks. This community can build a stronger nation by investing in the lives of people who will serve.