It’s critical that we come together to stop the senseless SUICIDE of the proud warriors who protect us.
My name is Wendy Shackley and I am the Gold Star Mom of Joel Alan McNeil E6 US Army. Joel died of Suicide January 14, 2014 and I wanted to share his story. Please read his words taken from his journal during his hospital stay after returning from Afghanistan:
K, this is the second time. I’m actually gonna try to do this, this time. I’m not sure where to start so I’m gonna write what comes to mind I guess my main problem is my anger. I know I got a problem with it, it hurts my marriage, my job, my friendships. It started out as a front, just a mask I put on because I was scared. Then over the years I slowly became who I pretended to be.
I didn’t think that my deployments were that hard on me, but they were to hard on me. The constant threat on my life, the bombs, improvised explosive devices, the dead bodies, losing people. I’m surprised I didn’t lose it earlier then I did. My first deployment was a lot easier then my second though, not easy, but easier. I defiantly got the shit end of the stick on both. I have mixed feelings about them though. When I was over there I loved it, I don’t know but I did. And now I’m broken, fucked in the head because of the military. I’m just another grunt that can’t make it in society.
This personal account is difficult to read but now you can see WHY I do what I do. To see more of our story go to the following www.therippleeffectaz.org/about-us.html
How do I do what I do? The Ripple Effect was born when my son died. I knew there were other families out there suffering just like me. I have committed to educate the public that we have a reintegration problem.
I do this by speaking at workshops, roundtables, panels and movies. The Ripple Effect has done over 14 Suicide Prevention Workshops at locations including Glendale Community College and The City of Peoria between September 2015-September 2017. We have touched over 5000 lives connecting Veterans and their families to services needed to reintegrate through our workshops, referrals and one on one personal interactions. Imagine if each one of those 5000 people touched just ONE other person and made a RIPPLE???!!!
My focus this year is working with Veterans, Families and our local Universities. The Ripple Effect plans to collaborate with the Behavioral Community to educate our public. This year’s 1st event is still in the planning stages so stay tuned for the announcement!!!
What can you do to help? First, if you have a corporation, church or organization where we can speak, please call me 260-312-3756. Second, we have two fundraisers currently planned.
Save the dates:
Saturday, April 21st 10-2 at Estrella Mountain Community College “Paint a Scarf”. This is a fun event for the whole family.
To be announced
TRE Golf Tournament sponsored by Pulice Construction.
For other ways to support our mission to bring the Veteran Suicide to ZERO go to our website at www.therippleeffectaz.org