NEWPORT NEWS - The Army says that in the first eight months of the year 120 soldiers have taken their own life. Two of the suicides have been at Fort Eustis. Those figures led Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd L. Austin to order a suicide prevention stand down for Sept. 27.
The Army wants soldiers, family members and civilians to know what resources are available to build resiliency and not fear asking for help.
People who have dealt with suicide either personally or professionaly attended the event at Fort Eustis.
A 25-year veteran, Clifford Bauman, was at the Pentagon on 9-11. He suffered from PTSD and tried to commit suicide.
"Going to get help made me a better soldier, it also made me a better husand too and better man I feel," he said.
Other events included a "run for resilience," a two-and-a-half mile run-walk in the early morning hours; "command time," during which Army units conducted peer-to-peer and leader-led activities and a comprehensive fitness fair at the Fort Eustis Club.
"The Army dedicates a significant amount of resources to prevent loss of life due to suicides, but we haven't turned the corner. That is why we are invigorating our efforts," said Maj. Gen. Bradley W. May, the senior commander of Army Element Eustis and deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training.
Bob Delaney, a National Basketball Association referee who lives with post-traumatic stress, spoke to soldiers, civilians and family members about his PTSD, derived from undercover work as a New Jersey state trooper.