HCN News & Notes

Thunderbirds, American Legion Team Up to Prevent Veteran Suicide

SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts American Legion and the Springfield Thunderbirds will host information events aimed at reducing the rate of veteran suicide. The American Legion is leading a nationwide effort called Be the One to eliminate the stigma related to mental-health treatment and, in turn, lower the number of veterans who die by suicide every day.

The events will take place on the concourse at numerous games this season. Look for the American Legion table.

“We at the Thunderbirds are proud to support this heartfelt endeavor with our friends at the Massachusetts American Legion,” Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa said. “Our nation’s veterans have served our country with the utmost pride, and we join the Legion in pledging to be the ones to ensure these men and women know they have our full love and support for all they have done and for all they mean to our community.”

The average number of veterans who die by suicide every day is estimated at between 17 and 22. The American Legion has elevated Be the One to be its top priority, empowering veterans, service members, their family members and civilians to act appropriately when a veteran may be at risk. These events intend to bring more awareness to the problem while providing resources to those who may be able to help save the life of a veteran.

In recent years, the Thunderbirds extended family and fans have endured the loss of members of their families to suicide.

“It is our commitment to ensure that the number of veteran suicides, and all suicides, for that matter, are reduced,” the team noted in a statement. “We need your help in ending veteran suicide. Be the one to ask veterans in your life how they are doing, listen when a veteran needs to talk, and reach out when a veteran is struggling.”