top of page
  • arnellnewman


I am speaking from a perspective of a US Army Veteran. The Suicide and Crisis lifeline is 988. Anyone can call that number that is a service for anyone who is suicidal or experiencing a mental health and/or substance use-related crisis. For specialized professionals that treat Veterans press 1 or LBGTQ+ under the age of 25 press 3. I wanted to make sure that I had educated the reader with that information in case you became bored with the rest of the article. The Chicago Veterans Group hosted a Ruck Sack March to bring awareness to the struggles over the high Veteran Suicide rate. The March is 17 miles long. Each mile represents a Veteran who had died that day. It is truly a lot. However, the number was 22 a couple years ago. The Local has had a team at the event for a few years now. The Local published it on the website and the Union boards. I am there at the march and my wife joins me. I organize it for the Local. We want more people to show but thank you to the people who do come out. We did it before Covid, during Covid and now hopefully Covid is over with we will do it again.

If you are suffering from thoughts of suicide, you should call the Suicide Prevention line. The Company also has a new program called Ascellus. They have a six-month trial period that the employees would be able to use. Our members will use Ascellus if they need mental health help after being a victim or witness of a violent act. Another benefit for our members is the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). You can schedule sessions with professionals. The help is there. Reach out and take advantage of what is being offered. Do not be a statistic. The City of Chicago is dangerous. It is not a coincidence that people have nicknamed our city Chiraq. Our employees are being targeted more and more.

PTSD is a real Mental Illness and should be taken seriously. It can lead to self-harm or even suicide. That is why I put the Suicide prevention line first. The number is 988. I am a Veteran and many Military Veterans and Active-Duty Military members do suffer from PTSD. But this is not only a military problem. It is an American problem. Many civilians walk around and suffer from this silent killer. You can be a victim of a crime and then suffer from the effects of PTSD afterwards. Especially now that crime is on the rise and people have lost faith in the government.

Fraternally yours,

Don Iocco

US ARMY Veteran

Local 18007 Vice President / Treasurer

74 views0 comments
bottom of page