A unique memorial is planned to commemorate military veterans who have lost their battle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to suicide. The Forgotten Warrior Memorial Wall, to be erected in Channahon State Park, outside Chicago, will also serve as a national reminder of all those who suffer the invisible but potentially devastating mental and emotional wounds of war.
The people behind the project also hope it will bring closure to the many families mourning their fallen heroes.
The memorial, scheduled to open in November, was funded through individual donations to Chicago-based nonprofit K9s For Veteran Warriors, according to The Herald-News.
The organization’s CEO, Michael Tellerino, told LifeZette no memorials exist for the countless veterans who have taken their own lives while fighting a different war at home — PTSD.
Tellerino has a history of standing ready to serve veterans. K9forveteranwarriors.org pairs dogs with veterans who need a companion to help them deal with life at home after war. A veteran himself, Tellerino has seen firsthand the healing that can take place when a veteran’s needs are thoughtfully considered.
“We honor them with our nonprofit work and with the memorial for paying the ultimate price,” Tellerino said. “Many soldiers with physical wounds are honored — yet so many others come home with wounds you can’t see.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that roughly 22 veterans commit suicide daily, Tellerino said, but that’s just based on veterans who have registered for benefits. He said the real number is somewhere between 28 and 32 a day.
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Image courtesy of channahon.org