Light Candle Friday in Memory of Local Veterans

ANNVILLE PA – In memory of Pennsylvania military service veterans who each year lose their lives by suicide in the United States, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said it is encouraging Commonwealth residents to light a candle Friday (Sept. 10, 2021) at 8 p.m. to observe World Suicide Prevention Day.

Military veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than Americans who never served in the military, the department said Tuesday (Sept. 7) in a media release. For female veterans, the risk factor is 2.2 times more likely. Pennsylvania, it added, is home to the nation’s fourth largest veteran population, and the department is “actively involved in suicide prevention initiatives.”

Veterans who are in crisis are urged to call the toll-free Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available to everyone. All calls are confidential.

It’s important for everyone to continue “the conversation about veteran suicide and prevention,” Rick Hamp, special assistant to the state deputy adjutant general for veterans affairs, said. “Lighting a candle (Friday) is one way to raise awareness and to keep that discussion going,” he added.