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  • Sunday, January 26, 2014

    Vets Tackle Painful Issues at Conference

    ALBANY — Department Commander told news media how he lost a veteran friend to suicide a year and a half ago.

    “There was little indication that he (the friend) was struggling,” Albany Times Union reporter Kristen V. Brown wrote in the Jan. 26th Sunday paper. “But in retrospect, his time in Iraq six years earlier had weighed on him, and he did not reach out for help. He was the proud, independent sort. Still in his 30s, he left behind a wife and two children.”

    Noted Governor: “The warrior ethic has looked at asking for that type of help as sissified, and that’s not accurate.”

    The story reported the rising rate of veterans dying at their own hands — 22 a day.

    Governor told the reporter that the stigma surrounding help is one of the biggest hurdles facing the veteran community. “We need to make it as easy as possible for a veteran to seek help.”

    The Times-Union story reported on the Mid-Winter Conference that took place Jan. 24-26 at the Desmond Hotel.

    “Our job is basically to take care of vets,” Department Photographer Doug Malin told the reporter. “Otherwise, they have no mouthpiece.”

    They also discussed the need to create jobs for returning veterans and restoring benefit cuts.