Aaron Lasarge

I joined the Army in 1998 more than a few years before the wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq began. Through this journey I have lost friends to combat and more importantly
to suicide. I deployed four times to Afghanistan alone and in the course of doing
so I divorced twice and have had troubles connecting with my daughter as I have
spent almost every year of her life in some country. During my last divorce
everything was weighing on me and I did not think that I could go on and suicide was
an option that I considered. Luckily, I had family and friends to bring me through
the darkness. Recently, I had my brother and best friend go through the same things
I had experienced and I was unable to help him. He took his own life and I will
feel that loss for the rest of my life. After seeing what his loss has done to
those that cared about him, I can see how my loss would have impacted those around
me. We have to be there for each other and it is critical that we know that we are
not alone and there are many that struggle but there are thousands out there willing
to help. I consider myself to be one of those that are there to help any brother or
sister in arms that needs it.