“Military suicide epidemic compels survivor families to speak out”
Danny Weiss hid any outward signs of suicide risk before taking his life on March 4, 2012. He accelerated his high school graduation to join the military as a 17-year-old. He earned every possible honor throughout his training as a paratrooper, an Army Ranger and an officer. His men loved and respected him. He deployed three times to Afghanistan, and was preparing to return a fourth.
“He had just done his latest evaluation,” said Julianne Weiss, 62. “We saw a copy of it, and it was, ‘Stellar, shining, ready to be promoted to captain immediately.’”
On the day Danny died, 21 other veterans and service members also committed suicide, according to a widely cited statistic in a 2012 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study. More U.S. military members died by suicide last year than died in combat in Afghanistan, according to the Associated Press.
“What are we going to do? All we can do is run toward the disaster at this point,” said Andy Weiss.
Medill News Service, June 5, 2013
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