My father was a Vietnam Vet. 82nd Airborne U.S. Army. He came back and had an alcohol and drug addiction. Numerous VA hospitals later, he sobered up.

He spent all of my life clean and sober. He worked hard, was well-educated, and had many accomplishments.

On March 6th, around 0630, I got up to smoke a cigarette and found my Dad putting his shoes on. We sat outside and talked. He gave me the biggest hug and told me he loved me. I am glad I got that.

He went up to the family plot in our cemetery and died by suicide, using a firearm.

During the last year of his life, the VA kept rescheduling his appointments, and he had mentioned he was no longer receiving mental health care, either.

We need to do better for our veterans, and for mental health care overall.