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Honoring veterans throughout the year

November is the time most people officially recognize the service and sacrifice of military veterans. However, veterans deserve to be recognized and honored throughout the year.

November 11 is Veterans Day, of course. The holiday actually began as Armistice Day, a celebration of the end of World War I. The US Department of Defense explains:

World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

 

For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

 

But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so on June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.

There is another holiday that honors veterans during the year. While Veterans Day is intended to honor all who have served the country in war or peace, whether dead or still living, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in battle, in service to their country.

Veterans deserve honor and support throughout the year. Those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in particular, need help and encouragement as they work through their challenges. Veterans of all types, from all branches of the military, served and sacrificed for their country. They deserve nothing less than recognition and respect every day of the year.

Suicide prevention – be there

Sometimes suicide prevention is as simple as being there for the person who needs you most. The veterans in your life need you to be there for them, to have a cup of coffee with them, to listen to them, to talk to them in an encouraging, positive way, and to guide them to the resources designed specifically to help them.

During Suicide Prevention Week and every day of the year, we urge you to be aware of the veterans in your circle of family and friends that may be contemplating suicide. It is important to be able to recognize the signs and to know where to turn for help.

According to the Veterans Crisis Line, there may not be obvious signs that someone is thinking about suicide but there are actions (some very subtle) that may signal the person in your life needs help. Veterans in crisis may show behaviors that are warning signs, including:

  • Appearing sad or depressed most of the time
  • Hopelessness; feeling like there’s no way out
  • Anxiety, agitation, sleeplessness, or mood swings
  • Feeling as if there is no reason to live
  • Feeling excessive guilt, shame, or sense of failure
  • Rage or anger
  • Engaging in risky activities without thinking
  • Losing interest in hobbies, work, or school
  • Increasing alcohol or drug misuse
  • Neglecting personal welfare; a deteriorating physical appearance
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Showing violent behavior, like punching a hole in the wall or getting into fights
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Getting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, or writing a will

The following signs require immediate attention:

  • Thinking about hurting or killing yourself
  • Looking for ways to kill yourself
  • Talking about death, dying, or suicide
  • Self-destructive behavior such as drug abuse, weapons, etc.

Organizations such as the Veterans Crisis Line and Veteran’s Passport to Hope are here to help. VP2H offers an online Resource Portal for veterans and their families, including a listing of resources for those who need immediate assistance.

Be there for the veteran in your life. Be aware of the signs. Be prepared to stop suicide.

 

Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1

VP2H Resource Portal: http://www.veteransresourceportal.com/

AAA Building Maintenance a valued VP2H supporter

AAA Building Maintenance has been supporting VP2H since the beginning. Its founder, Kyle Grivette, has also been involved with VP2H since the beginning and is now a key board member for the organization.

Kyle had been involved in the maintenance industry for many years when he started a company called Property Service Company of America, in Los Angeles in 1985. When Kyle moved to Colorado, he brought the company with him, in a sense. He purchased another small company and renamed it Property Service Company of America. Shortly afterward, he developed a partnership and formed an entirely new company.

AAA Building Maintenance was named, you guessed it, to be listed first in the Yellow Pages. At the time, industry listings in the Yellow Pages were crucial to growing a business. Many potential customers would look through the listings and decide to call the first one at the top of the list, which was AAA Building Maintenance!

Now AAA Building Maintenance is a multi-million dollar company, with over 100 people maintaining 100+ facilities on a daily basis. They are “doing some kind of work” for over 600 clients in total, Kyle says. They are focused on building maintenance, which can include janitorial and custodial services, construction cleaning services, and exterior maintenance.

Kyle’s business partner, Rae Harris, has been “a huge help with VP2H work” as well. Rae has helped put emails together, come to events, and has been very active with VP2H. Rae’s brother was in the first Gulf War and Rae shared many of his letters written from the battlefield. In Kyle’s words, it was “scary to read some of the things he went through.” Sadly, her brother was killed in an auto accident back in the states.

The company was a major sponsor for the Omni Financial Charity Golf Tournament, just held on August 24, benefitting VP2H. AAA Building Maintenance has also been a financial supporter of many other VP2H over the past six years.

AAA Building Maintenance focuses on “facilities, users, and their clients who value a clean and healthy environment.” Their website is www.3aclean.com. Check them out!