VA’s Operation Resiliency Addressing Veteran Suicide

The group intends to host six retreats in 2023.

The Department of Defense recently highlighted the work of Operation Resiliency, sharing their work to address the high rate of suicide among American veterans. Sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the program was founded by Sarah Verardo after two veterans from her late husband’s unit took their lives back-to-back. Operation Resiliency opened its first anti-suicide retreat to other members of that same unit, and almost 100 company members attended the retreat, including retired Sergeant Major Donald McAlister.

“I knew that when we got those guys together, that for me to still be their leader, I had to lead by example,” the sergeant major said. “And, to me, leading by example was being open and honest, and letting them know that mentally, physically, I’ll never be the man I was before. I went through all the things I went through. But at the end of the day, that’s OK.”

Their retreats have now hosted 468 combat-tested service members, and they hope to host six more retreats in 2023.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For VA Secretary Denis McDonough as he facilitates the Operation Resiliency intervention program.
  • For wisdom for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as he oversees mental health assistance for active-duty military personnel.
  • For the many veterans who are struggling with PTSD or depression to reach out and find help.

Sources: Department of Defense


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