An estimated 22 veterans committed suicide every day in 2010, according to a report released in January by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2012 alone, active duty suicides outnumbered US combat deaths in Afghanistan. But many suffer silently, fighting a war at home just as tough as anything they ever faced overseas, often alone and afraid of reaching out.
Marine Veteran Timothy Lawson is looking to change that. His “1, 2, Many” project focuses on a series of podcasts aiming to provide a voice to veterans, families, and medical professionals affected by this under recognized epidemic. After serving on 4 continents in the Marine Corps, he has been struck by the number of friends and fellow service members personally affected by suicide and PTSD. Lawson, host of the award-nominated Veteran Empire podcast, hopes to undo some of the stigma associated with reaching out and bring voices to the quiet.
In one early interview, a veteran told him:
“To be honest, I was fucking scared shitless reaching out for help. ‘Cuz I was like, “This could totally ruin my career. This will totally reflect poorly on me and I feel totally ashamed that I am not living up to this ideal of being strong and tough and incredibly resilient and nothing can affect me. It was scary reaching out for help.”
Lawson’s project just debuted on Kickstarter with the goal of completing 12 podcast episodes by the summer’s end 2014 followed by a series of hosted public panel discussions across the country. Backers may choose a number of unique rewards including a special challenge coin, official sponsorship of a panel in their own city, and signed copies of “White Donkey,” a graphic novel by the author of the hugely popular “Terminal Lance” webcomic. Click to support the project today.