Letter: Let Hoosier hospitality help hurting veterans

Editor,

For all my brothers- in- arms who fought the fight of defending democracy for God and country: Welcome home where you belong!

The Army sent me to Ft. Stewart, Georgia in 1988 and I quickly requested a transfer. Although growing up in Kentucky, I didn’t choose either of Kentucky’s bases.  Instead, I selected Ft. Ben Harrison, as I thought being in the ‘Heartland’ would be something special.

That request was finally honored twenty years later (patience is a virtue). Upon moving to Carmel in 2013, I learned how special Indiana is.

I’ve experienced  several professional/ personal setbacks, yet was inspired by Hoosier hospitality to adapt, improvise and overcome.

This power of love was a game changer for me and can be a life-saver for our most vulnerable vets.

Our veterans are suffering from a silent killer– suicide! This tragedy has escalated over recent years . In spite of how well you know  a former service member; you may never know if they are an actual veteran. Primarily, because those who suffer from horrific experiences are more likely to conceal them.

Therefore, to be a life-saver,  we cannot distinguish a service member from a vet as suicide surely does not.

Regardless of a vet’s age/combat experience, a victim typically does not integrate into society thus feeling ostracized.  This loneliness  quickly  turns into a death spiral of depression. As a 20-plus year vet myself, I implore hoosiers to be a life-saver with a simple act of sincerity.

Tell a vet,”Welcome home where you belong!”

Steve Leifer

Carmel

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