Navy Veteran Introduces ‘Warriors at War Against Suicide’ Campaign
By Janelle Floyd
Chaplain Barbara A. Nollie, has officially launched a new campaign to fight a different war, suicide amongst veterans and military personnel. The Navy veteran’s kick-starter campaign ‘Operation: Warriors at War against Suicide,’ aims to “afford health and healing while addressing the emergent needs and suffering in our communities, our nation and around the world.” Nollie and her team will be spreading their message all through the east coast, from Tallahassee to Washington, DC, hoping to promote a conversation.
Chaplain Nollie is the founder of New Heart Ministries International. New Heart, “for veterans by veterans” aspires to heal the wounded hearts of military members, veterans, and families distressed by suicide.
Standing under the American flag, Nollie and her mother Mrs. Pearl Powell, touch the names of veterans forever engraved in the black granite. Mother and daughter, both dressed in black suits, walk around the entire Vietnam War memorial silently thanking all the veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
However for them, the topic of veteran suicide gets swept under the rug. Nollie believes veterans and their families, who have given so much to their country, deserve more emotional help.
“You can imagine what it must be like for a child to have their father or mother commit suicide?” said Chaplain Nollie, shaking her head. “How do they deal with that?”
“I’m not saying there isn’t anyone around them, but what I am saying is that there is more work that needs to be done.”
Mrs. Pearl Powell, who was listening intently to her daughter’s every word, nodded her head in agreement. Powell met a lot of active military and veterans during her years as a cosmetologist. She believes that in the past veterans were not getting the necessary care they deserved and nothing has changed even to this day.
Only just a year ago, an excessively long waiting lists for health care scandal shook the Department of Veteran Affairs. According to a New York Times article, since the scandal broke the department has largely expanded care and doctors and nurses have handled 2.7 million more appointments this year than any previous year.
The expanded care to veterans is a small victory for Natalie Carnegie, New Heart Ministries Public Outreach Coordinator.
“We have a serious epidemic. When veterans are killing themselves at a rate of 22 per day, we must realize those are the rates that are reported. This does not include veterans who have been deployed or the younger generation. This is happening amongst all of the generations.”
Nollie and her team will be spreading their message in Gainesville July 8-9 and Jacksonville July 12. More dates will be announced, including visits to Petersburg, VA and Washington, DC.
For more information about their campaign and mission, contact (813) 203-0462 or firstname.lastname@example.org