NEVADA, Mo. — As Veterans Day comes as a time of remembrance, it’s also a time of support. The Elks Lodge 564 in Nevada partnered with other veteran advocacy groups and community groups to focus on veteran suicide prevention resources.
“So, unfortunately, in Missouri, we’re seeing an increase in the suicide rate that’s higher than the national average for our Veterans. And I think it’s important that we recognize that there are some veterans that and people in the military that return home with some um, emotional issues,” said Representative Patricia Pike, (R-Mo.) District 126.
That includes the 988 Suicide and Crisis hotline and local support groups. They also offered items like stress balls, gun locks, even “kindness rocks.”
“And you know, the veterans here, and you know, across the country are an at-risk population and so we just kind of wanted to focus on them and try to make sure that they know that help is out there and that there’s hope for them,” said Debbie Jensen, Co-Chair, Veteran Suicide Prevention Campaign
Many took the time to mention that Veterans Day is an important day to check in on those who have served our country… But it should also be that way every day.
“As a fellow veteran myself, I know that we like the fact that community and that the younger generations are still educated on what it means to be a veteran and what veterans have done for them throughout all the years of history and it’s good for them to still continue to acknowledge those veterans from years past that have done a lot of good things for this country,” said Dennis Bowling, Exalted Ruler, Elks Lodge 564.
It was also a time for veterans to gather and spend time eating and socializing.
“They gave up lots. They had to leave their families and some had to leave their children and some never came home. So, they’ve given up everything to keep us free,” said Darlene Tweten, Treasurer, VFW Auxiliary 2175.