The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) kicked off National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month on Friday by announcing the 2023 campaign for Operation We Remember.

Operation We Remember serves as a visual reminder that suicide knows no boundaries. The campaign includes partnering with the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) and colleges and universities around the state, who are displaying 143 American flags on their respective campuses during the month of September. This act is intended to honor and remember the 143 Veterans in Alabama who lost their lives to suicide in 2021.

A flag display is currently located in front of the Alabama Department of Archives and History and will remain through September 8. During the month, nearly 50 college campuses around the state will participate in Operation We Remember with displays on their respective campuses.

“We are grateful to see such interest and engagement from student veterans associations in Alabama. Yet again, this is a testament of Alabama’s mission to care and honor our veterans,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “Suicide prevention is never an easy subject or an enjoyable conversation, but we hope Operation We Remember will visibly show the reality of how many veterans have invisible wounds. Ultimately, Operation We Remember is another opportunity to help create an impactful, long-term change regarding veterans well-being.”

On Friday during the 2023 campaign’s official announcement at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Commissioner Davis, ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell, University of Alabama Campus Veterans Association President Jordan Golden, and VA Regional Office Executive Director Cory Hawthorne spoke about efforts being made within the veterans community and to improve mental health in Alabama.

“Over the last year, 23% of all contacts to 988 were made by Alabama veterans. This plainly demonstrates the continued need for crisis services. The Alabama Department of Mental Health is dedicated to expanding 988, Crisis Centers and related services, to save lives,” said ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell.

Operation We Remember is a campaign within Alabama’s Challenge, which is an initiative aimed to create an impactful, long-term outcome across the state as we continue fighting a stigma with mental illness. Raising awareness of suicide prevention can help us understand the cause and circumstances that lead to mental health issues in general. The ADVA is a lead agency within Alabama’s Challenge and assists with connecting with service members, veterans, and their families to provide information and knowledge about suicide, provide support, and provide resources and options to deal with PTSD and crisis situations. For more information on veterans suicide prevention, please visit