Pleasantville vet urges Congress to help give other vets suicide prevention resources

An Iraq veteran from Pleasantville marked World Suicide Prevention Day by bringing awareness to the issue in hopes to get other veterans the help they need.

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2021, 5:06 PM

Updated 1,043 days ago

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An Iraq veteran from Pleasantville marked World Suicide Prevention Day by bringing awareness to the issue in hopes to get other veterans the help they need.
Kristofer Goldsmith, who is originally from Long Island, joined the military in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. He attempted suicide after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression related to his service in Iraq where he witnessed the horrors of war.
More than 6,000 veterans die by suicide every year. The suicide rate among veterans is 1.5 times greater than the non-veteran population.
This week, an Afghanistan War veteran and Dutchess County resident died by suicide.
Goldsmith is urging Congress to do more to prevent suicides through laws like the Honor Our Commitment Act.
The bill aims to give veterans who have been dishonorably discharged, like Goldsmith, access to health care— a key element in the battle to preventing suicide.
Goldsmith was discharged with bad papers for his suicide attempt and says more needs to be done to address this issue.

"We've been losing more veterans to suicide to each year than we are losing soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen in combat operations and accidents,” Goldsmith says. “I think that if more Americans understood this, they would be outraged."

Goldsmith started a nonprofit called High Ground Veterans.
If you are a veteran in crisis or concerned about one, you can call the veterans crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255.


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