Saving and Changing Lives
A Soldier’s Story
My name is Soldier. I was introduced to Valhalla Veterans Services at our annual Suicide Intervention Briefing when VVS presented their presentation called, “The Deadly Recipe of Warrior Suicide”. The presentation was engaging and kept my attention, unlike most of the suicide intervention briefings I had attended. It gave me a better understanding of why we, as Warriors, are so prone to suicide. At the end of the briefing we were required to make the pledge, “I will never kill myself” to the other members of the unit. I took the VVS business card because I thought I may need to use it if one of my Soldiers started showing signs of trouble. When I got home, I stuck the card on my refrigerator. I had no idea that I was about to be the one who needed that card.
A few weeks passed and, in that time, I lost my job, and my wife told me that she wanted a divorce. I felt like my whole world had ended. It seemed to me that there was no point in going on. I went to the bedroom, loaded my shotgun and started walking towards the door through the kitchen. As I walked past the refrigerator, the VVS card caught my eye, and I remembered the promise I had made. I paused for a moment. I was confused. I couldn’t believe that I was going to kill myself. It had all happened so fast. I walked back to the bedroom, unloaded the shot-gun, and called the number on the card. The counselor talked to me then and there on the phone and was able to help me get to a point of safety. He made an appointment for me for the very next day and told me that even if my insurance didn’t cover the sessions, I would never be charged because VVS had grants specifically to cover it.
Every week I went to the appointment and I never paid a dime. The counselor helped me deal with all of the things that life was throwing at me. My external situations did not change. My wife eventually left, but I am still here and I am committed to fight on. I learned that some times life can be brutal but with a little help from someone who cares, we can make it through.
Valhalla Veterans Services saved my life because they took the time to educate me and then engage me at the lowest point of my life.
Feed Back from the Warrior’s Path to Peace
“This program has given me an opportunity to connect my problems, errors in thinking and emotions to a certain point or period of my life and identify how to address them to be a better person, citizen, brother, father, son and partner. Please keep up your program and continue to help those who need it.
Thank you for helping me identify.” - Anonymous
“I have learned that I’m not alone in my thoughts and issues. I have been able to put a name on and reason for feeling the way I do. The program is well presented and information in regards to all the things the military instilled in me and my failure to readjust to the life outside the military. I now know that it's ok to talk to others about my feelings and [that] men do express emotions. Being shown these things by someone who has been there done that is the way to teach others. Keep up with the good work it does help.” - Anonymous
“The concept and depth of topics have given good insight. Have been able to apply to things in my life. Also see how things affect our lives. Even on how I worked my way in here. I can see how events have played into my attitude with people. I believe it's why I have trouble trusting people.” - Anonymous