The Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs (ADVA) is proud to announce a partnership with the Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) and colleges and universities around the state for a newly established Veterans suicide prevention awareness campaign.
Operation We Remember serves as a visual reminder that suicide knows no boundaries. Participating colleges and universities will display 152 American flags on their respective campuses during the month of September, which serves as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This act is intended to honor and remember the 152 Veterans in Alabama who lost their lives to suicide in 2020.
Operation We Remember will be formally announced during a news conference on September 9 at 10:30 a.m. at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery. The displayed 152 American flags will remain at Riverwalk Stadium through September 11 as the Montgomery Biscuits complete their final regular-season home stretch.
“We are excited about this new campaign and to continue the discussion for this important topic within the Veterans community,” said ADVA Commissioner Kent Davis. “Suicide prevention is never an easy subject or an enjoyable conversation, but we hope this visual display will show the reality of how many Veterans have those invisible wounds and help create impactful, long-term change.”
During the news conference on September 9, Commissioner Davis, ADMH Commissioner Kimberly Boswell, Director of Auburn University Veterans Resource Center Paul “Puck” Esposito, and Montgomery Biscuits General Manager Mike Murphy will each discuss efforts being made within the Veteran community and to improve mental health in Alabama.
“Supporting our Veterans with mental health resources that are accessible and compassionate is crucial. Nearly 18% of individuals who die by suicide in Alabama are Veterans. Through resources such as 988 and the Crisis Centers, we hope to help Alabamians find help, begin the path to recovery and save lives,” said Commissioner Boswell.
Student Veterans associations participating in Operation We Remember include the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University, Jacksonville State University, University of North Alabama, University of Montevallo, and Shelton State Community College.
You can learn more about Veteran suicide prevention by clicking here.