Veterans share their thoughts on an important issue
Stillwater News Press
By David Bitton
September 10, 2016
Since 2001, veteran suicide increased by 32 percent, civilian suicide is up 23 percent and is now the 10th leading cause of death for Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Too often veterans come home from war only to face new battles.David Bitton Stillwater News PressCyle Briggs, 29 of Stillwater, served seven years with the Marine Corps Reserve in
Broken Arrow before transitioning to the Air Force Reserve at Tinker Air Force Base
where he currently serves.
“Deployments are simple,” said Cyle Briggs, 29, who served in Iraq in 2008-2009 as an infantryman with the Marine Corps Reserve out of Broken Arrow. “You wake up, go on a mission, come back, work out, go to bed and do it again. Civilian life is hard. There’s bills and finding a job so I can feed my family.”
Mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder have led many military personnel to commit suicide.
Briggs himself – who served in the Marine Corps Reserve from 2007-14 before transitioning to his current assignment as an Air Force reservist at Tinker Air Force Base – suffers from PTSD.
“In the Marine Corps, you are taught to suck it up and push bad thoughts to the side,” said Briggs, who has tattoos up and down his arms. “If you want to talk to anyone, you are weak.”
His marriage fell apart during his deployment.
“I went through a terrible depression after my deployment,” the Stillwater resident said. “My wife (now ex-wife) left me and got pregnant by another man.
I had nothing to come home to. Another issue I know veterans coming home from deployment struggle with is the issue that you will never be as great as you were when you were deployed.”
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