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Welcoming Your Soldier Home: US Veteran and Suicide Survivor Speaks Up and Saves Lives | NEWS-Line for Healthcare Professionals

Welcoming Your Soldier Home: US Veteran and Suicide Survivor Speaks Up and Saves Lives


Austin veteran and suicide survivor Andrew O’Brien will speak at the Marchesa Theatre in Austin, Texas on Wednesday, April 10, 7-9 pm on how to stop the epidemic of military suicides and save the lives of veteran PTSD-sufferers returning home from war. Admission is free and all are welcome—personal connection to the military is not required.

This year, 22 veterans and one active duty soldier per day took their lives. Andrew O’Brien was almost one of them. In 2010 after returning home from a 12-month deployment in Iraq, Andrew decided he could no longer manage his PTSD and attempted suicide. The paramedics arrived just in time to save his life. With this second chance, Andrew wrote a guide, Welcoming Your Soldier Home, and launched a public speaking tour, telling his story and coaching families, media and the public on how to support at-risk veterans and service members.

Andrew’s primary goal is to educate and support the family of the returning soldier. “That support group is always with him,” he says. “I’m not teaching them to understand—I’m teaching them to support. The best way to beat this is to talk about it.”

Andrew has been featured on Fox News Austin, 104.9 ESPN Austin, 99.3 KOKE FM, WWLTV, US NBC, 100.7 The Word and the Austin American-Statesman (to be released on April 7), on a growing mission to stop veteran suicide, because even one is too many.

“I was lucky enough to wake up and recognize that I had made a mistake. There are 22 veterans and one soldier a day who don’t get to do that,” he says.

Veterans and soldiers make up 1% of the US population, and 20% of all US suicides. Andrew hopes to raise enough money to continue speaking to the public and to develop a nationwide training program for the families of returning soldiers and veterans. On Friday, April 12, 7-10pm, a book release party for Welcoming Your Soldier Home will be held at the Spiderhouse Café. This event is also free and open to the public.

To get involved, visit Andrew’s IndieGoGo campaign at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stopping-military-suicides

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