The US Army is trying to put a stop to the spike in suicides among soldiers.
There were 16 potential suicides Army-wide in August and 26 in July. So far in 2012, there have been 80 confirmed suicides - and last year, 165.
The Army held mandatory prevention training across the nation. At Fort Lee, the event was themed ‘Shoulder to Shoulder, We Stand Up For Life.'
Sergeant Aretha Riley attended the closing ceremony after a day of training.
She said a soldier in her unit committed suicide in July - after the Army let him go. He had also suffered a brain injury.
"I can't stress enough how leaders now-a-days need to know their soldiers and pay attention to the signs," said Riley.
Looking out for one another not just physically but emotionally was the message for these active-duty soldiers.
"We have to get rid of the stigma that people that go for help they're week because that's not the case," said Riley.
Also at the closing ceremony was 28 plus year Army veteran, Colonel Steve Cherry.
"I have personally experienced suicide, my oldest son died from suicide two years ago so it's very emotional to me and want to make sure folks recognize that so they can get help for a soldier or family member," said Cherry.
A bit choked up about his son's death, Colonel Cherry, who is a father first, shared more about his son - a former West Point cadet who at 22-years-old killed himself.
"It's the hardest thing for a parent to get a phone call to say your son has taken his own life…the grieving process of having to buy your own family member's very tough, I wouldn't wish that on anybody," said Cherry.
Soldiers and families in need of crisis assistance can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained consultants are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and can be contacted by dialing 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by visiting their website athttp://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .
Suicide prevention training resources for Army families can be accessed at this link (requires Army Knowledge Online access to download materials).
Information about Military OneSource is located at http://www.militaryonesource.com or by dialing the toll-free number 1-800-342-9647for those residing in the continental United States. Overseas personnel should refer to the Military OneSource website for dialing instructions for their specific location.
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