(Wyoming) - Today, May 22nd is Buddy Check 22 day. The 22nd of every month is a chance for friends, families and neighbors to check on a veteran they know. The goal of "Buddy Check 22" day is to put an end to the fact that 22 veterans a day commit suicide.
There are many ways to do a 'buddy check.' Make a phone call. Send a text. Connect on facebook. A few months a go, the New York Times
highlighted a former Army sergeant Michael Davis who checked in on facebook with the status, "Buddy check on 22! Where are my warriors?!" and the response was overwhelming. Read more about it here
Locally, Jen and Charlie Wilson, founders of the Soldiers House
in Riverton recognize the importance of relationship for veterans transitioning back home from the military. They told Pitchengine Communities that "Buddy Check is an important way of connecting. In addition to trauma, it is also the isolation and disconnection a veteran experiences after such an intense and prolonged deployment."
The Wilsons said Buddy Check and Mission22
have brought much needed attention to the tragedy of veteran suicide. "It appears that many of the suicides are older veterans who have suffered decades of isolation and neglect. There is concern that this already startling number, 22 veterans a day, is artificially low because accurate data is not available for several states with high veteran populations, such as Texas and California."