GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–As we honor our veterans and those currently serving our country, Monday night an event will serve as a sobering reminder of a reality the men and women in our military continue to face.
As the number of military and veteran suicides rise, a movie is helping shed light on their everyday struggles. Cpl. Michael McDaniel, a graduate from Thornapple Kellogg High School, served two tours overseas, one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan.
His sister Angie says when he moved home in 2011 he had a lot of problems, not physically but mentally.
“He had his moments, he was very happy and chipper and he was very outgoing person but every so often he would have his moments and they were not good,” she said.
McDaniel suffered from PTSD and had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. In November 2012 he committed suicide.
It’s a reality all too common, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs each day, one active duty solider and 22 veterans take their own lives. It’s why Angie wanted to do something in her brothers honor this veterans day.
She partnered with the non-profit ‘Stop Soldier Suicide’ to bring a screening of the movie ‘Happy New Year’ to Grand Rapids. The movie is focused around a sergeant just returning from war and the struggles he faces coming home.
“When he would open up about things I didn’t know know what to say to make him feel better. I didn’t understand and I just hope that this film will maybe give a little bit of insight,” she said.
To find out more about ‘Stop Soldier Suicide’ and how you can see the movie: http://www.stopsoldiersuicide.org/