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Gut-wrenching new Afterburner from Bill Whittle — which uses Monday’s tragic suicide by Robin Williams to remind viewers about an astonishing statistic, which CNN reported last year:
Every day, 22 veterans take their own lives. That’s a suicide every 65 minutes. As shocking as the number is, it may actually be higher.
The figure, released by the Department of Veterans Affairs in February, is based on the agency’s own data and numbers reported by 21 states from 1999 through 2011. Those states represent about 40% of the U.S. population. The other states, including the two largest (California and Texas) and the fifth-largest (Illinois), did not make data available.
Oh, and speaking of Robin Williams, his wife “issued a statement Thursday morning, revealing that the Oscar-winning actor and comedian had been battling the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, in addition to depression and anxiety,” according to Entertainment Weekly:
Since his passing, all of us who loved Robin have found some solace in the tremendous outpouring of affection and admiration for him from the millions of people whose lives he touched. His greatest legacy, besides his three children, is the joy and happiness he offered to others, particularly to those fighting personal battles.
Robin’s sobriety was intact and he was brave as he struggled with his own battles of depression, anxiety, as well as early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, which he was not yet ready to share publicly.
It is our hope in the wake of Robin’s tragic passing, that others will find the strength to seek the care and support they need to treat whatever battles they are facing so they may feel less afraid.”
At Big Hollywood, PJM alumnus Mary Claire Kendall asks, “Should Hollywood Do More for Troubled Stars Like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams?”
Yes — and given our dysfunctional VA system, shouldn’t we do more for troubled American servicemen as well?