"This is our chance, as a place designed to help the military, to give people the information they need to help themselves," said Yolanda Serrano, a suicide prevention coordinator at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center. "We want veterans to know that they are not alone. They can call us 24/7."
Dozens of people from multiple branches of the military came to the Suicide Prevention 2k Walk allowing the VA a range of communities with which to spread prevention awareness. Active duty Soldiers, retired Sailors, aviators and Air Force mothers are only a fraction of representatives of the military communities that have access to the programs offered through the VA.
"The more people who have access to the information we have, the more of a chance we can help them," said Serrano.
The nation's observance of Suicide Prevention Month is September. The military continues to build upon the lessons learned and potential best practices from its ongoing Ready and Resilient campaign to reduce suicide while building strength and awareness.
"I grew to love the military, and programs like this are what people need to keep that drive in their branch," said a retired sergeant major who declined to give his name.
"Information to prevent suicide not just helps us, but it helps us as members in uniform
m to protect each other," said the retired sergeant major.