LETTERS: Be there for veterans; Congressional kudos

Be there for veterans

Year-round, and particularly during Suicide Prevention Month in September, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs empowers communities to take action and support our nation’s veterans. Each community across the country plays a role in supporting veterans, but as an individual you may not know what to do or where to start.

You don’t need to have special training to support the veterans in your life, and we can all do something to help a veteran who is going through a challenging time. Even seemingly small actions can have a significant impact: Preventing suicide begins with just the willingness to be there.

When you sense that a veteran is not doing well, your words can help. You can make a difference by just starting a conversation. Although it can seem challenging, it is important to talk about difficult feelings and experiences. Keep in mind: Asking questions about thoughts of suicide does not increase a person’s suicide risk. Instead, an open conversation can help someone feel less alone and let others into the veteran’s experience — and feeling connected is shown to reduce suicide risk.

Simply reaching out to a veteran in need and opening the door for a discussion could make all the difference. Learn more ways to show your support and be there by visiting VeteransCrisisLine.net/BeThere to find more resources and information.

If you believe a veteran in your life may be contemplating suicide, call the Veterans Crisis Line at (800) 273-8255 and dial 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online. Qualified and compassionate VA responders are always on call to provide guidance on how to connect veterans with support and help keep them from harm.

Jina Jensen, Harlingen

Impressed with congressional kudos

On Aug. 10, The Monitor reported a great success story about our daughter, Lisa “Lika” Torline, who is a business owner. This article was about her journey through struggles and successes in the last five years with her skin care products.

On another good note, our congressman, Vicente Gonzalez, read this article and called Lika to obtain her address. He wrote a letter of congratulations to her for her successful endeavors. He said that Lika was a great example to all women.

This thoughtful gesture from Mr. Gonzalez was a touching sign of a caring public servant that we are fortunate to have as our representative. Kudos to him. I had never heard of any official sending a congratulatory letter to a particular business woman, our daughter.

We, as parents, were very impressed.

Rosalinda Torline, McAllen

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