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Veteran suicide prevention and awareness display in JFK Library

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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Eastern Washington University's Veterans Resource Center is partnering with the Washington state Department of Veteran Affairs and AmeriCorps to put together a display for veteran suicide awareness and prevention in the JFK Library alcove from Jan. 19-21.

EWU Vetcorps navigator Angela Sanchez explained the display will have 22 sets of boots to represent the estimated 22 veterans that are killed by suicide each day. It will also include a Power-point presentation and information for students to recognize symptoms and signs that someone is struggling with suicide.

"We're trying to raise awareness and provide resources to veteran students and non-veterans," Sanchez said.

Sanchez added that the display is also to honor the veterans who lost the battle with suicide.

"Suicide has such a negative connotation to it, we sometimes forget these men and women are still heroes," Sanchez said. "We're not trying to glorify their deaths, but we still want to recognize them for their service."

There will also be information about post-traumatic stress disorder and how veterans and students can talk about it.

"We also want to explain that not all veterans have PTSD," Sanchez said. "The number of veterans who struggle with PTSD is large, but it's not every veteran."

While suicide is an uncomfortable subject for many, Sanchez feels a conversation about the issue "needs to be started."

"The more we ignore it, the more the issue will grow," Sanchez said.

Al Stover can be reached at

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Original Publication Date: January 14, 2016

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