A Resource for Veterans and Families in Crisis

« Previous story
Next story »
A Resource for Veterans and Families in Crisis

The Department of Veterans Affairs has recently launched a campaign announcing the strategic rebranding of the Veterans Crisis Line (formerly the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline). The Veterans Crisis line (1-800-273-8255 and Press 1) is a confidential service available 24/7/365 for Veterans and family members is crisis, including those not enrolled with VA. For those who would rather type than talk, there’s also a confidential chat service available through VeteransCrisisLine.net.

VA is working in close partnership with Legion to increase awareness of the confidential Veterans Crisis Line and ensure that all Veterans and their family members know about this resource whenever, if ever, they need it.

Responders at the Veterans Crisis Line have answered more than 390,000 calls since the hotline launched in 2007, and have made more than 13,000 life-saving rescues. Close to 4,000 people have gotten assistance through the online chat

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please encourage them to call the Veterans Crisis Line or use the online chat at www.VeteransCrisisLine.net. Many of the VA responders on the other side of the Veterans Crisis Line are also veterans, and all responders are specially trained to assist and counsel Veterans and family members in crisis.

Let’s do our part to spread the word. Please email, post, tweet, or share this story with your fellow Legionnaires and Vets. We can make sure all our fellow Vets and their families know about this resource

If you’re looking for more information about the Veterans Crisis Line, visit www.VeteransCrisisLine.net. For more information about VA’s suicide prevention program, visit http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/suicide_prevention/.

Posted in the burner | 10 comments
« Previous story
Next story »


* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.


The Veterans Crisis Line (formerly the Veterans Suicide Prevention Hotline) is a vital service to the veteran community, however it comes with a built in deterent to usage. That deterent is the forfieture of all 2nd Amendment rights after calling the number and indentifying yourself. An initial request for help should not come with an immediate forfieture of a citizen's right to keep and bear arms. This knee-jerk response to requests for help result in many not seeking any help whatsoever. A request for help should not automatically involve a loss of Constitutional Rights, especially when that loss will not automatically prevent the action the denial was designed to prevent.

With the above as a starting point the name change amounts to just another stupid idea that did nothing to address the largest stumbling block to using the hotline.

Your mileage may vary...

As a former VA employee, I was suprised to see that Gen Shinseki's statement that the VA had grown by 800,000. This represents 8.4 million veterans who have enrolled in the VA not those who get care. The VA calls those who get care and recieve a physical uniques. This represents slightly less than 6 million. The VA gets $9700 + per head per year for health care. They spend $5,900+ per year per head for health care. If I purchased insurance to provide 100% medical coverage it would cost $5,400 per head. I think the VA has been misleading Shinseki and congress on what they are doing.

It's time for a GAO audit.....

It would be great if the Legion would look into why it is so damned hard for some of us to get a service dog and do a story about why and about the fraudulent. I have been trying for five years and I can not get anyone to assist me ogles I pay twenty to thirty thousand dollars for a dog or either i am a patient of the V.A. I have had been offered dogs that have no training at all by so called service dog companies that they themselves certified as public access trained when the dog was vicious when confronted by strangers to /;dogs that were so full of heart worms that it was recommended that they be put down, along with people promising to assist with the training and to provide a dog who once they received everything from money and items of value including helping with a video that they are going to use for profit. They racked out and I later found out they have been doing the same thing to a lot of other people. I can not even get anyone to assist me in training a puppy that I own.

I happen to be a 911/SWAT dispatcher with severe PTSD. I have researched service dogs. Depending on the state there may not be any requirement of training or qualification. Federal law says they don't even have to wear a vest. Therapy dogs however, must be temperament qualified, because they service other people than the owner.
Your own dog however, for service, has different standards. Mostly they are about behaving, being housebroken, and no undo aggression. There is even a section that says if a dog does a service that is instinctual and not trainable, the dog qualifies. In California for instance...if you say your dog is a service dog, federal law states that no one can refute it, or refuse you access to public places unless the dog is dirty, peeing, being aggressive, barking etc. You can only be asked what service the dog provides, your medical problem cannot be asked. And there is no requirement of the dog coming from any agency, or receive special training, or even what type of dog. I hope that helps.
I got a dog myself, and he is naturally well behaved, and protective when needed. I put a vest on him just because it is easier for people to accept. I even got him registered at a Service Dog website, which just asks you not to lie about 3 or 4 questions. They send you an ID and your dog can be found on the website.

I was nearly a shut in October 2010, and now I go out every day, and there is always my big black companion by my side. If you have a physical disability and need the dog to do actual tasks, I think your local ASPCA could have a volunteer to help train the dog.

Hello. My daughter Kylee Furnish is a Marine and is supposed to be walking with her classmates tomorrow for graduation. However she is being denied the right to wear her dress blues to graduation. So she is choosing not to walk with her fellow classmates because Dr. Brown and the East Allen County school board members will not let her wear her dress blues. If there is any way you can us fight for what is right we would love your help! Thank You so much!! My #260-602-3314. Thank you again, Natasha Furnish my husband Kris Furnish and our Marine daughter Kylee Furnish

Does anyone have a resource or know of an agency offering financial assistance for 911 dispatchers with severe PTSD. My state support has run out, and the lawyers are still hashing out my workers comp case. I am just looking at temporary help until the settlement and my retirement kick in.

Thank you

Perha[s stating your own posting thread may get you a faster response rather than attaching it to my posting- which no one will read anyway. NOT criticism, just suggestion

A severe on-duty accident left a USN Chief Supervisor of Deep Sea Diving and Salvage with a severely damaged spine- 2 badly dislocated spinal vertebrae and a mangled spinal disc. Also an Experimental Human Medical Test Subject at age 27, this accident left him 2 choices. Medical de-certification from diving and 6 years of at-sea time running steam propulsion plants... or an honorable discharge with a 75% medical pension. He took door number 2. I wasn't allowed to copy my 4" think medical file and disability agreements for several reasons. When I didn't receive his first pension check, I called St. Louis Records Depot, and learned that my personnel file was there, but that there was a notation that "I' had lost his medical files, MRI files, disability agreement, etc... the very day I was Discharged. I was denied access to VA Medical help for 15 years, and even then, I only got treatment and scripts when on US soil. Fair enough, except that I had moved to the Philippines to remarry and become Central Philippines Director of Hyperbaric Medicine. Another incident crushed I already operated spinal disc into Jello Pudding. The Airlines refused to fly me home, so 2 Filipino "spinal Experts" operated on him and butchered him BADLY. He has been confined to bed to 6-1/2 years now with no income, and frankly, is suffering badly. My medical expenses have now exceeded $50K with no end in sight.

Despite that I still have a copy of the US Naval Hospital Bethesda ER report, the VA has denied my pleas for Disability Twice now because he has no medical records. I've been denied a formal review board, independent medical examination both times. While researching and preparing for my 2nd VA disability package, I found a huge Us govt archive of medical reports. With less than 2,000 Navy Divers at any time, this report documents how every single diver was poisoned by "Toluene and other hydrocarbons" by a huge batch of divers' breathing gas supply hoses that were improperly made and tested. Not only were None of the Divers notified, the VA refuses to read the report because my name isn't specifically listed in the report. Social Security Disability has refused his applications twice now. Major uncontrollable blood clots are slowly killing me. The US Embassy Officials won't come to my Island, and I have neither the funds or endurance to make the journey

I have now been confined to bed for so long, unable to work, I am suffering the late stages of chemical poisoning- the nerves in his arms have stopped working and he can barely type with 2 fingers. Trying to live on his wife's Filipino paycheck, he is literally having to choose between food and meds. This is how the US Govt is taking care of the youngest man ever to hold his rank- AUTHORIZED BY ACT OF US CONGRESS!!!!

Local doctors now withhold medical care because he can no longer pay for it. At lease 5 Doctors has refused to fill out US govt VA Disability Forms and provide medical records because he won't pay their demands for large cash payments

Whether you are a Vet or not, I served this country hard and well, and look at how I'm now surviving. I am literally at the end of my rope. I have exhausted every avenue I can think of to get help. I have filed VA claims and appeals TWICE now with the same results- no records, too bad. I've been denied SSDI, having 2 claims denied. There are excellent VA services here but without a Disability Rating, I am excluded. I used to be qualified for care at any VA facility on US soil, but the VA now tells me I can only be treated my VAMC of record, which is in Tampa.I have made a few phone calls to the US VA Org, but at a local cost of $4/min for Intl calls, I simple cannot make the calls that might give me additional avenues of assistance.

Somehow, without a penny to my name, I have to find a way to get back to tamp. I have verified I'm still in the computer for care, but just can't get there. Not to mention finding a place to live, no food, no way to drive myself even if I could afford a car, etc... I invested my life savings of $250,000 to design and build and residential/commercial building- I've had it on the market for 3 years at 50% of that, and can't even get a single offer. I have no family left, and none of the few friends I had are able to help me.

The final straw was last week- I tried to get out of bed and hobble around showing the house to a local. My legs collapsed, and when I dropped to the ground, my entire body weight hit the sharp edge of my concrete stairs. I split L% where the huge metal screw is driven in, and destroyed the 5# titanium implant cage holding my spine together. (It was supposed to be a fusion procedure. These local surgeons removed the crushed disc, but they never transferred the bone marow needed for the bones to fuse. I have other medical problems from being in bed this long, but you get the picture. My wife is trying, but trying to live on the equal. of $350/mo, she is coming unglued. She feeds me 1 meal per day, and we can only afford about 10% of the medications I am supposed to be on. She wants a divorce, is tired of living with a cripple, etc...

PLEASE, consider helping me...I just cant figure a way out of this black hole May even just making a phone call to a Veteran's Advocate at the Bruce B. Downs VAMC.The US govt refuses to help me, will anyone else? Internet, you-tube, and 100's of letters to media and politicians haven't generated a single response.I don't want to die in this God-forsaken cesspit, but with my current pain levels I just don't know how much longer I can hold out.

Bruce Partlow
Cell Ph 011-63-920-915-7811

. I have exhausted every avenue I can think of to get help. I have filed VA claims and appeals TWICE now with the same results- no records, too bad. I've been denied SSDI, having 2 claims denied. There are excellent VA services here but without a Disability Rating, I am excluded. I used to be qualified for care at any VA facility on US soil, but the VA now tells me I can only be treated my VAMC of record, which is in Tampa.

I am a 30yr veteran and both of my brothers are 20yr veterans. 70yrs of service between us. I came home 14years ago and finished out my service in the reserves. My brothers have never been back home except on leave for two weeks at the most. Our father passed away two years ago and his aunt passed away recently--she never married and her brothers/sister have passed away. We found out that our aunt's will had been written in a way the did not allow for our father's share of the estate to pass to us and our father was removed from her IRA and was replaced with one of our cousins. The end result being that most of the estate went to two of my father's two sisters and their children (one of our cousins was named executor of the estate)---my brothers and I were removed completely. We are not as upset at the money as we are about the idea that our family would do this to us and then defend what they did. I have never read about this "hidden" impact of service life. As service members, we expect our "blood" family to treat us better than this. In this case our great aunt forgot about us and our aunts and cousins manipulated the great aunt into giving her estate to them. Has anyone seen research into this "hidden" impact? How can servicemen and women remind their family about their service in a way that they are not forgotten members of the family?

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.