February 14, 2019 at 11:29 am
Members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars attended the Fort Bragg City Council meeting Monday night to focus attention on suicide among the nation’s veterans, which continues to be significantly higher than among the general population, particularly among younger veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
John Goodrich, District 16 Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Rick Cooper, American Legion District 1 Commander and Commander of Sequoia Post 96 in Fort Bragg, spoke to the council about the need to focus on and support the community’s veterans — the latest U.S. census counted 6,357 veterans in Mendocino County — and commented on the crucial, and underused, role of veterans organizations in addressing the issue.
They noted there is a confidential crisis line for veterans and their families at 1-800-273-8255, and Veterans Service Officer Ulyses Lopez holds regular office hours in the Veterans Memorial Building at Harrison and Laurel streets in Fort Bragg. Lopez can be reached at 707-964-5823.
Cooper noted later that fellow veterans are often the only ones who can help one another deal with issues the general public has little understanding of.
“If you know a veteran and you think that veteran needs help, get them in touch with Ulyses,” he said.
Cooper, a Vietnam vet and longtime American Legion member and officer, is also available at 707-357-1788.
The VFW meets at the Veterans Building, 360 N Harrison St Fort Bragg CA every second Tuesday, with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and a meeting following. The American Legion meets there on the third Thursday of every month, potluck at 6 p.m., meeting at 7 p.m.
A look at VA’s comprehensive outreach approach to suicide prevention.
On Saturday, February 2, 2019, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Willits, CA hosted a Four Chaplains Memorial service. The American Legion Post 174 assisted as the honor and color guard.
The service is to remember the chaplains aboard the USAT (US Army Transport) Dorchester who willingly gave their lives on February 3, 1943 after their ship was torpedoed by the U-223, a German submarine.
First Lieutenants Fox, Goode, Washington and Poling, all newly minted chaplains who had met at the Army Chaplains School, were on the ship with approximately 900 military and crew heading to Europe for their first assignment.
After the torpedoing of their ship, the chaplains stayed on deck to offer comfort and to help those they were shipping over with. They gave their places on the lifeboats, gloves and life vests. They were seen on deck praying together as the ship’s bow lifted into the air and then slid under the water.