Stand the Watch for Veterans at Lighthouse Park in Biloxi
September is Veteran Suicide Awareness Month and to honor those veterans lost to suicide and bring awareness, a flag-draped coffin was on display at Lighthouse Park in Biloxi.
According to statistics, approximately 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Military and veteran suicide rates are high due to reasons such as PTSD, financial strain, and survivor’s guilt.
Harrison County, Biloxi High School, and Crusaders for Veterans all took part in the Stand the Watch ceremony.
Twenty-two boots with flags were on display to showcase the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day. Harrison County Veterans Service Officer Julia Encalade said, “It’s education. Letting the veterans know that there is someone out there that cares and let’s them get some help. So, since 2001, we have lost 114,000 veterans to suicide.”
Biloxi High School Instructor Master Sgt. Karen Chachere said, “These are resources that they can reach out to help. We are here. We will listen. A lot of us understand.”
This was the first year that Harrison County held the veterans suicide Stand the Watch ceremony.