Since the 2022 Russian invasion, Ukraine’s veteran population has increased from roughly 500,000 to over 1.2 million and counting, yet the country’s ability to support its servicemembers has declined due to the war’s impact on the economy and infrastructure. Two…
‘Make ‘Garage-Gate’ Matter’
J. Michael Haynie, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and innovation and founder and executive director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Examiner: “Make ‘Garage-Gate’ Matter.”
Haynie recently spoke with Lauren Schellin, a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Over the past six months, Schellin has experienced the loss of four members of her National Guard unit to suicide. While Schellin’s story may sound shocking, Haynie says that as a veteran and veteran advocate himself, he has heard of far too many similar experiences amongst families struggling with “the epidemic of suicide among service members and veterans.”
Several years ago Haynie gave a TED Talk called “The Moral Obligation to Know Our Veterans,” where he encouraged all people to truly get to know veterans and military families. “Too often military service has the effect of socially isolating those who serve—from their families, friends and communities. Sometimes that isolation comes at a traumatic cost,” writes Haynie.
To best address this epidemic, Haynie says that the responsibility cannot lie solely in the domain of the Department of Veteran Affairs. Instead, Haynie argues that it is also up to the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and more to use their resources in addressing military-connected suicide. Haynie argues that this means not only focusing on mental health advocacy but also increased help with job training, employment, housing, food security and financial support.
Ultimately, Haynie says it is on all of us as a nation to help prevent veteran suicide.
To read his essay in its entirety, visit the Washington Examiner.
Syracuse University media relations team members work regularly with the campus community to secure placements of op-eds. Anyone interested in writing an op-ed should first review the University’s op-ed guidelines and email email@example.com.