This Vet Is Beyond Grief for Suicide; He’s Taking Action Now

In August 2015, Zach Ziegel launched what he had no idea would become a viral Facebook campaign. Twelve hours after creating an “event” near and dear to his heart, Ziegel watched the number of invitations climb to 180,000.

What could cause such a thing? What was near and dear to Ziegel’s heart?

Suicide. That’s what.

via Facebook
A picture of Ziegel, via Facebook

22 veterans commit suicide every day. You’ve probably heard that somewhere. Ziegel certainly heard it. He heard it, and – Ziegel being a veteran himself, serving overseas on two separate occasions with the USMC – Ziegel knew something needed to be done in order to help his struggling brothers and sisters. His proposed solution came from an unlikely source.

In order to promote breast cancer survivorship, WEEK-TV urges that women first perform a self-examination of their breasts, “then call a buddy to remind them to do likewise.” This occurs on the 25th of every month, and is known as Buddy Check 25.

via Facebook
via Facebook

Ziegel, seeing the benefit of such an idea, thought it could easily transfer to veterans and suicide. According to the Facebook event itself, Buddy Check 22 “is a day to call a veteran that you know and check in on them to hopefully change the fact that 22 veterans a day commit suicide.” More from the event page: “It’s 2 minutes out of your day, and every veteran deserves to know that we still care about them.”

Well said, sir. Our veterans do need to know that we care, that they’re appreciated, and that we’re here if they need us.

It’s so easy for people to feel as if they don’t have a voice. But we do. You do. And you can be heard. To weigh in on this topic and make a huge difference in the lives of our veterans, please check these out:

We Can’t Afford to Lose Our Veterans to Suicide

To Treat Combat PTSD, the VA Must Have a Variety of Programs

Support Veterans

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