There is a statistic in the news that has been bothering me so much that I am telling everyone I know about it. In January, the number of suicides committed by the US soldiers was higher than the number of US soldiers who died in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. I can't get over that fact. It's haunting me - what could be causing this and why did it have to get to this level to get national attention?
So how does a story like this make me hopeful? I feel hopeful because I feel empowered to do something about it. I was talking to my friend, Richard, about it this week and he helped me to realize that if someone, anyone, can find a way to help in this situation that the implications for our country and for the many people who serve this country would be immense.
If ever I wanted a cause that would have impact this would be it. Consider how much energy, time, and funding goes in to training a soldier what to do in a war-torn region. And now consider how much energy, time, and funding goes in to helping that transition back into normal civilian life. The discrepancy is criminal.
So what can I do? Could I start a movement? Could I reach out and offer my help? And to whom? I started tonight be creating a lens on Squidoo. I've followed Seth Godin for a long time - his is one of the blogs I read every day. I have to admit it took me a while to figure how or why to use Squidoo. Now I get it - when you want to provide detail on a specific topic, event, or cause, Squidoo is your tool.
Feeling passionate about wanting to help these US soldiers transition back to civilian life and wanting to get a dialogue going about the topic, I started the lens. To see the lens and offer your ideas and support, visit http://www.squidoo.com/helpUSsoldiers
Photo above taken by Rafiq Maqbool, AP.