Turning pain into purpose even during a pandemic

Military Matters

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Veterans Suicide Rates are going up the daily number nationwide now surpassing 27 veterans per day that take their own lives.

Kristen Christy is making sure she reaches as many families in need as possible even during a pandemic.

“It’s heartbreaking for those of us who have been through it and live through it and carry that hurt, we don’t want any other families to go through what we do.,” Christy said.

Kristen Christy is one of the founders of the National Veterans Vocational Village or NV3 which has created a community and purpose for struggling service members in 2019.

“As human beings,” Christy said. “We dont want to ask: ‘Are you thinking about harming yourself or taking your life?’ Because we’re afraid of the answer. If that answer is yes. What do we do?”

Usually, she travels all over the world speaking about suicide prevention, resiliency working with active duty service members and their families. Christy helps with this answer as an Air Force wife herself lost her husband to suicide.

So though traveling and large group gatherings were put on pause during the pandemic she made sure hope and healing weren’t canceled.

“We aren’t going to let, the lack of travel or lack of invitations or lack of anything, get in our way,” said Christy.

She turned to technology to reach even more people, though she acknowledges connected over a camera is not ideal.

“Trying to get that authenticity across when presenting about the loss of my first husband to suicide, my older son missing, the genuineness has been difficult,” said Christy. “But we persevere, just do whatever it takes,” Christy said.

If you are in crisis call the veterans crisis line available 24/7 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

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