Our veterans are in trouble– a lot of trouble. The veteran suicide rate is at an all-time high.

According to K9s for Warriors, a veteran commits suicide almost every hour each day. On average, twenty-two veterans take their own lives every day because they cannot cope with what they have experienced in their military service, because what they have endured during their service has traumatized them emotionally, mentally, and physically?

We think that’s twenty-two too many.

Did you know that, according to the Wounded Warrior Project, over 55% of homeless people are veterans? Over 50% of these homeless veterans suffer from a physical disability or from PTSD or TBI (traumatic brain injury) or both, and they are homeless because they can’t successfully transition back into civilian life, can’t get the medical help they need, and can’t find jobs because of their disabilities.

Isn’t it time we gave back to those who gave so much to us? Giving back can be something as simple as knowing where to turn and gently throwing out that lifeline to the veteran who does not or cannot make that turn by him or herself. Fortunately, there are many ways you can give back to these veterans by volunteering and also simply by knowing how to direct a veteran in your life, who needs help, to resources that offer the compassion, understanding, and lifeline a veteran in crisis needs.

Recognizing Crisis Situations Before Veteran Suicide

Veteran suicide might be a risk if he/she:

  • feels hopeless, depressed, anxious, or agitated.
  • has trouble sleeping.
  • exhibits drastic or frequent mood changes and difficulty controlling his or her emotions, especially when a threat is perceived.
  • has bursts of anger or rage.
  • abuses alcohol or drugs.
  • withdraws from family, friends, and activities he or she once enjoyed.
  • engages in risky, poorly planned activities.
  • talks about, thinks about, or threatens suicide or harm to others.
  • has trouble making what seems like simple decisions.
  • suffers from memory loss, migraines, or seizures.

All of these behaviors are indicators of PTSD and / or TBI and mean that the veteran needs immediate help. Research strongly supports that both of these disorders directly lead to homelessness and suicide among our veterans.

How To Prevent Veteran Suicide

The VCL: Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans thinking of suicide or need help can call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 or send a text message to 838255.

Crisis Chat Line


These phone, text, and chat services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Families and friends of veterans can also call, text, or chat. If you suspect a veteran you know is in trouble, please reach out to these services before the crisis escalates to a suicide attempt.

Since its inception in 2007, the VCL has answered over two million calls. Over 61,000 of those calls required immediate emergency services, which the responders on the crisis line dispatched.

The chat and text services have received over 300,000 requests for help.

The responders at all three of these services are specially trained and have experience dealing with the problems and issues unique to veterans of all ages and backgrounds. They assist veterans with PTSD, mental problems, relationship problems, and problems transitioning back into civilian life.

K9s for Warriors


A nonprofit organization that “matches unwanted dogs with war veterans” (1), this group is very close to our hearts here at ABT, and we proudly volunteer with them regularly right here in Ponte Vedra, FL. This group rescues dogs from high-kill shelters, trains them, and guess what? The dogs rescue their veteran companions right back.

After the dogs are trained by professional handlers at “Camp K9,” they are matched to a veteran suffering from PTSD, TBI, or military sexual trauma. The pair then trains together for several weeks at “Camp K9,” where the dogs and the veterans live during the training, and at the end of the training, the pair takes a certification test. The dog becomes the veteran’s life-long service companion.

Since 2011, “K9s for Warriors” has rescued 306 dogs, and 236 veterans, with their service dogs, have graduated from the program. That’s 542 lives saved, at no cost to the veterans!

We at ABT are proud to give back a small fraction of the enormity of what our veterans give to us. We support our veterans and also our active military personnel, and we support non-profit organizations like “K9s for Warriors” who dedicate their lives and resources to veterans – because no veteran should fall through the cracks of the country he or she served. Because no veteran should be forgotten or neglected by the country he or she put his life on the line for. Because 22 lost veterans each day is 22 too many.

We are Advanced Bio Treatment. We are here for you 24 hours every day of the year, and we take emergency calls and work with your insurance company. Should you need our suicide cleanup services, please call us at 800-295-1684.


  1. K9s For Warriors Aims To Rescue 10 Dogs To Help Veterans With PTSD In Summer FundraiserLink (Huffington Post, 2013)
Posted in Suicide
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment