After losing Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, Retired 1st Sgt. Sandoval began drinking heavily, lost interest in maintaining his health and fitness, and pulled away from family and friends. Eventually, by opening up and sharing his experiences, he began to turn his life back around.
Depression & Suicide
Depression is a common, treatable, but serious psychological health concern. It can interfere with your daily duties and even increase your risk for other health concerns.
The underlying reasons for depression vary from person to person, but it can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. It impacts your thoughts, feelings and actions and if left untreated is one of many risk factors for suicide—another grave, but preventable concern.
These two concerns are not always linked, but if you or someone you know is feeling depressed or has thoughts of suicide, it is important to reach out for help right away. In an emergency, call 911 or the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, press 1. If not an emergency, talk to a health care professional as soon as possible for help understanding and treating your symptoms.
During Chaplain Dundas' deployment to Iraq, he experienced combat first-hand while providing support to service members. He returned home feeling depressed, angry and disconnected from his faith, but with the support of his command, he received care and learned tools and tips for coping with PTSD.
Wounded by an IED blast in Iraq, Retired Maj. Ed Pulido returned home facing tremendous physical and psychological challenges, including thoughts of suicide. What turned things around for him was reaching out for and accepting support from others, and focusing on helping service members and families in similar circumstances.