"We are losing 22 veterans a day to suicide - and that's only with six states that are reporting," says Jolanthe Bassett.
But there's a bright light at the end of the tunnel -- man's best friend. That's where Jolanthe comes in with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs.
"We've paired over 150 dogs since 2010, and in that time we haven't had one suicide attempt," she says. She volunteers with Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs and worked to find Eric his current partner, Sun, after his first dog died tragically.
It isn't 22 a day and the suicide report from the VA was from 21 states, not 6. If folks actually read the report they would know this was limited data and they missed a lot.
The thing about "no attempted suicides" could very well be true however it is important to point out that while PTSD service dogs are very helpful, there have been many veterans with them and they not only attempted suicide, they succeeded.
Also keep in mind that some folks want to imagine these dogs as the "cure" instead of part of the help that is needed. Plus some veterans don't like dogs or can't have them.
For most veterans, even a regular dog is very helpful. We lost our's last week and we have huge holes in our hearts. Harry was just a mutt but he gave us a lot of comfort knowing he was always on guard among so many other things. He wasn't just a dog to us, he was part of our family.
Throughout most of our 30+ year marriage we've had dogs, so yesterday we went to meet out new "dogson." Haven't agreed on a name yet but he sure will have big paws to fill after Harry.
But as you can see, I don't think that will be a problem for this little guy. He isn't even 7 weeks old yet.