A Letter to my Dad

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

PRINT  |  E-MAIL

Pause, take a breath, and know that you are loved ... Don’t do it.

Advice from Air Force 1st Lt. Brad Worley who lost his dad to suicide 26 years ago. 

“There was so much you missed out on, and there’s so much I want to tell you,” Worley writes in a letter to his dad. “Why did you leave us so soon? So many people that loved you, why didn’t you just call one of them?” 

In a recently released Defense Visual Information Distribution Service video, Worley reads the letter he wrote to his dad telling him about everything he has missed, highlighting that the effects of suicide can have a lasting effect on family, friends, and communities.

“The loss of any member of our team or family member is a tragedy,” said Defense Logistics Agency Energy Commander Air Force Brig. Gen. Albert G. Miller. “I encourage everyone to watch this moving video. If you are in crisis, please talk to someone. People care.” 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to anyone. All calls are confidential.

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. According to Military.com, in 2018, the U.S. military experienced the highest number of suicides among active-duty personnel in at least six years. A total of 321 active-duty members took their lives during the year, including 57 Marines, 68 sailors, 58 airmen, and 138 soldiers.

The U.S. military is not unique in struggling with the impact of suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. 

“It’s important to recognize the warning signs, but also to take the steps to help someone in distress,” said Darrell Bogan, DLA Energy Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity Director. “Be present, show them they have your support. Increase someone’s connectedness to others and limit their isolation.”

Suicide is among the leading causes of death in the U.S. and takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. 

While mental health conditions often are seen as the cause of suicide, it's "rarely caused by any single factor," according to the CDC.

Bogan stressed the importance of being connected. Evidence shows that even a quick text or Facebook message to show you’re thinking of them can potentially reduce the risk of suicide, he said. 

So, pause, take a breath and talk to someone. Help is only a phone call away.