Gold Star Mom - New York News

Gina's People

Gold Star Mom

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This week in Gina's People, a Gold Star Mom is tackling the problem of veteran suicides. Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide. The Department of Veterans Affairs believes that number could be even higher.

Roxann Abrams knows all about veteran suicides. In 2009, Her son Randy took his own life. He had served in the Marines and the Army. Randy had been stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq. One night, alone in his room, he pulled the trigger. Roxanne says she knows why, "In the infantry they take down houses, they clear villages, when they do that, they shoot everybody that's in those houses. He felt like a monster. A lot of our soldiers do and they're not comfortable telling people here at home." Roxanne says combat veterans are dealing with moral injuries. A moral injury comes into play when you do something that goes against your beliefs. In order to help other veterans, Roxann started Operation IV, a vet friendly program that provides different types of free therapy treatments for post traumatic stress disorder. One of the most popular programs with the vets involves the trained service dogs. Roxanne says, "Service dogs keep combat veterans alive. Those dogs are trained to deescalate the anxiety problems that cause combat veterans to take their lives." Roxann says it takes about 12 months of comprehensive treatment to emotionally stabilize a combat veteran. Operation IV is currently helping 25 veterans. It operates only on donations. If you'd like to help, here is the link to their website: http://www.operationiv.org

During the memorial weekend, Operation IV is holding a fundraiser at the CBS Studios. You can get more details on their website.


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