If you serve this country, in any capacity, you should be guaranteed health benefits until the day you die.
This is something that we need to start offering in order to show our veterans that we appreciate their sacrifice.
A navy veteran recently committed suicide outside of the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center in North Carolina after he learned that he had been denied his health benefits.
Paul Shuping, a former Navy veteran, was denied health benefits and decided to take his life outside of the V.A. building on Feb. 15.
His body was discovered 6 days later, with a .22 caliber rifle in the car.
James Alston of Triangle Veterans Outreach Center was shocked to learn about the suicide and suggested it points to a serious problem.
“His biggest concern when he came in was financial,” Alston said. “I really think he was trying to send a message for all veterans who are crying out for help.”
Shuping’s brother, Donald, suggested that the denial played a large role in his brother’s decision to kill himself.
“Veterans find themselves disabled and lose whatever they have for care and end up fighting the government for years to get their benefits,” the veteran’s brother said. “(I believe he wanted) to bring the light to the situation that so many veterans are in to get their rightful benefits.”
Dr. Terry Morris, who knew Shuping and was a friend of his, was upset to hear the news.
“I was devastated,” Morris told WRLA upon finding out about the veteran’s death. “We were all devastated when we heard what happened. He seemed like he was thriving, and certain events happened recently that kind of took him in a downward spiral.”
An estimated 20 veterans commit suicide each day in the United States, a number that need to be much lower.