On average, we lose 22 veterans to suicide every day (was 18/day when I started this project), according to SUS.org – Services for the Underserved, a non-profit in NYC. The Wounded Warrior Project reports that 1 in 5 of returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD or major depression.
What started out as a vision for recruiting like minded people into the volunteer fire service has now expanded into this effort to connect soldiers and firefighters at every level and at every opportunity.
Returning veterans speak of missing the brotherhood, the camaraderie, a sense of belonging and purpose, and the adrenaline rush of serving in active duty, especially in combat.
Perhaps not quite in the same quantity or quality as a soldier might experience in combat situations, the volunteer fire service offers all of those things and more!
Nonetheless, joining the volunteer fire service offers soldiers a step-down process and an opportunity to reintegrate into their communities surrounded by others who understand what they’ve gone through in dangerous, life-threatening situations.
I am so passionate about this effort that I don’t just believe we have an opportunity to recruit veterans into the volunteer fire service — I feel strongly that we have an obligation to recruit veterans into the volunteer fire service — and I’m convinced we can save lives by doing so.
- Read the whole story behind Soldier|Firefighter here.
- Download and share this FireRescue Magazine article “Making the Citizen-Soldier-Firefighter Connection” and help us in our mission to connect veterans and the volunteer fire service.
As of: 11/10/15