More than 45 groups endorse suicide prevention effort focused on connection
MOUNT AIRY, Md., Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Troops First Foundation today released a letter signed by more than 45 of the nation’s leading veteran service organizations and allied groups, imploring members of Congress to approve a resolution recognizing Nov. 13, 2022, as “National Warrior Call Day.” The letter notes that leaders in the U.S. Senate are set to introduce a resolution imminently – timed in conjunction with suicide prevention month and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Warrior Call is a national suicide prevention effort aimed at reaching veterans and service members who may be dangerously disconnected from others. The campaign stresses daily connection through calls and unites behind a single day — the Sunday after Veterans Day — to create a groundswell of action from all Americans to “make a call, take a call and be honest.” Congressional backing increases visibility for the initiative and serves to extend the message to the local level.
“Far more emphasis must be placed on reaching those veterans, service members and first responders who do not raise their hands, who are suffering ‘invisible wounds’ in silence, whose physical or psychological injuries have left them perilously disconnected from others and who do not avail themselves of services,” the groups write. “National Warrior Call Day highlights that pressing need.”
The groups emphasize that support in Congress “will save American lives.”
“Complementary to programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and some Veteran Service Organizations, National Warrior Call Day is a grassroots advocacy campaign that requires no federal dollars,” they add.
All equally important to the effort, a full list of the signers can be found here.
“Reducing isolation and suicide is multifaceted and requires many solutions,” said Frank Larkin, Warrior Call chairman and Troops First Foundation COO. “With its straightforward mission of peer-to-peer connection, Warrior Call is one of those tools.”
Larkin is a former Navy SEAL and 40th U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms. His son Ryan was a decorated Navy SEAL who died by suicide and has since been the subject of critical research on traumatic brain injuries.
Supporters are pressing for the congressional resolution to be fast tracked, particularly because congressional action will likely be limited to the Senate due to rigid rules in the House of Representatives related to dates of recognition.
Lawmakers introduced a similar resolution in 2021 and wrapped it into the National Defense Authorization Act, but it failed to move forward. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) spearheaded the effort and will do so again this year on a bipartisan basis. Both members serve on the Senate Armed Service Committee and are consistent leaders in supporting the nation’s troops and veterans.
“We thank our partners in Congress and our massive coalition of partners represented on this letter today,” added Larkin. “Through these partnerships, we will drive more people to make more calls to our bravest men and women who have worn or are wearing the uniform.”
Warrior Call leaders emphasize that regardless of congressional action, Nov. 13, 2022, will be commemorated as National Warrior Call Day, and groups across the nation will work to drive participation.
Founded in 2008, the Troops First Foundation implements initiatives that foster connectivity, build trust and address reintegration in post-9/11 warrior care. One of the foundation’s programs is Warrior Call.
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SOURCE Warrior Call