Erika I Ritchie
Sept. 23, 2016
‘Suicide didn’t take away my husband’s pain, it just transferred the pain to those that loved him.’
More than a 1,000 Marines and sailors take part in Camp Pendleton's second annual Suicide Awareness Walk. The event was held at the base on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Camp Pendleton.)CAMP PENDLETON – Chad Robichaux, a Force Recon Marine and former MMA fighter, spoke to Marines and sailors Friday about the military lives lost to war and the far greater number of military lives lost to suicide.
“I was thinking about how as a young Recon Marine I’d respond to a suicide pep talk,” said Robichaux. “I’d probably be a little arrogant and not want to listen. But I’ve been on the other side of it. After eight deployments to Afghanistan in the special operations community, I know that’s one extreme. The other is just military service and the stress it brings. Military life will change you 100 percent. The change will be either for the worse or the better, that’s up to you.”
Robichaux now runs the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program, dedicated to curtailing the high veteran suicide rate and helping American military and their families suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. He spoke at the seaside base as part of the second annual Suicide Prevention and Awareness Walk.
“We lost 6,882 in combat since 9/11,” he said “But the more significant number is the 22 lives a day from suicide. Since 9/11 we’ve lost 120,000 to suicide. We learn to push through in our mission but sometimes, we can’t push through in our personal lives.”
Robichaux relayed the story of a Marine wife he recently counseled. Her husband had shot himself standing in the street surrounded by police. The last thing he said to police was, “Tell my wife, I’m doing this for her,” Robichaux said.
“She later told me, ‘Suicide didn’t take away my husband’s pain, it just transferred the pain to those that loved him.’”
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