Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention
Since 2008, there have been more than 6,000 Veteran suicides each year, and the suicide rate for Veterans is 1.5 times the rate for non-Veteran adults.1
Among active duty service members, the suicide rate has been rising an average of 6% annually over the past five years, and the number of suicides jumped from 285 to 325 between 2017 and 2018.2
The impact of these deaths is far-reaching: Survivors of suicide loss are at increased risk of suicide.3 Soldiers belonging to Army units with five or more suicide attempts are twice as likely to attempt suicide themselves.4
We can and must do more to support our current and former servicemen and servicewomen, beginning with proper treatment of PTSD and support for transitioning Veterans.
We know that readjustment from military service back into civilian life can be a confusing and stressful time. The shift from a heavily structured, disciplined, and fraternal daily routine to one that is quite the opposite can be pronounced and unsettling.
Drawing on the success of promising new techniques and psychotherapy programs such as fitness camps and equine therapy, The JDog Foundation aims to develop targeted initiatives for Veterans, military personnel, and their family members to support their mental, physical, and emotional health, and curb the escalating rate of Veteran suicide in the U.S.
Higher Education for Veterans
56% of Veterans cite inadequate financial resources/financial burden as a barrier to obtaining a higher education degree.2 Federal initiatives to support Veterans in education, such as the GI Bill, have brought a college degree or trade within greater reach for many military families. But not all Veterans qualify for this aid, and the benefits often do not cover the full cost of education.
Additionally, the frequent relocations associated with military service make it difficult for Veterans to establish residency in any one state and limit their ability to qualify for more affordable, in-state tuitions.
For the nation’s future generation of military servicemen and servicewomen, college ROTC programs offered by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force offer students scholarships in exchange for their military service post-graduation. But not every cadet qualifies for financial assistance, and scholarship amounts vary.
The JDog Foundation seeks to encourage and support Veterans and ROTC cadets in higher education through need-based scholarships and partnerships with university registrars, offices of Veterans services, and ROTC detachments.
Never forgotten: The Baugher Initiative
The Baugher Initiative was inspired by former Marine Corps SSgt Rob Baugher and family to honor the servicemen and servicewomen who fought and served alongside him but never came home.
With a contribution of $50 or more to the JDog Foundation, you will receive a personalized dog tag with the name, rank, branch of service, and date of death of one fallen post-9/11 hero. A duplicate tag will be added to a monument at JDog Brands Headquarters to memorialize the Veteran’s selflessness, dedication, and ultimate sacrifice to our country. The strength, character, and stories of these Veterans and all fallen post-9/11 heroes will never be forgotten.