Jill Howard Church
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
“We have to find ways to strengthen the part of them that wants to live.”
Army chaplain and Armed Forces Mission founder Ken Koon
On Veterans Day, there will be well-deserved honors and memorials for those who have served in the U.S. armed forces at home and abroad. What many people don’t realize, however, is that soldiers often fight a more personal but equally dangerous battle when they get home: thoughts of suicide.
Army chaplain and Armed Forces Mission founder Ken Koon teaches suicide preventionskills to military and civilian groups. Photo courtesy of Armed Forces Mission
One man fighting this battle is Kenneth Koon, who has the look of a general and the zeal of a preacher. He’s both an Army chaplain and the founder of Armed Forces Mission, a Tyrone-based nonprofit that works to prevent suicide, with a special emphasis on veterans. Koon founded AFM on Veterans Day 2012 after his son intervened during a difficult time in Koon’s life. Now he’s paying it forward on a national scale.
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Reminder it is not "22 a day" that is far too often mentioned. It is a lot higher and we need to stop trying to boil it down to a sound bite because it is easier to say. Using it doesn't make it any easier for them to live. Veterans survived combat but commit suicide double the civilian population rate.