The Fayette County Veterans Service Commission (VSC) will be hosting its third-annual Silent Watch event to help spread awareness about veteran suicide and what the community can help do to prevent it.
This year’s Silent Watch will be held on Friday, Sept. 30 with First Watch starting at 8 a.m. and Final Watch starting at 5 p.m. Closing with the Honor Guard will begin at 5:20 p.m. The event will take place on the courthouse lawn, located at 119 N. Main St. in Washington C.H.
Tasha Jackson, financial benefits counselor with the VSC, explained the importance of this event and how important the volunteers are who choose to donate their time to this cause.
“We normally host it on a Saturday, but unfortunately this year we had to have it on a Friday due to all of the events going on downtown during that time like homecomings, Labor Day, and the Scarecrow Festival,” she said.
A Silent Watch is where the community comes together to promote veteran suicide prevention awareness with the purpose of trying to lower veteran suicide rates.
“Veteran suicide is talked about but not a lot of people know warning signs, how to get them help, or where to go,” explained Jackson.
Last year, many organizations such as the Washington High School Lady Lions volleyball team, the Greenfield Cadets, and a veteran motorcycle club all teamed up with the VSC and stood watch during the event.
“We are asking if those organizations would like to come back and stand, as well as anybody else that is interested in volunteering just 20 minutes of their time,” noted Jackson.
This year, Jackson and her colleagues are running into a bit of an issue when it comes to finding volunteers for this important event.
“Right now, we don’t have very many volunteers so we’re hoping we can get more people who will come out and volunteer their time to stand with us.”
With this being the third year that this event has taken place, the VSC is hoping to make this event bigger and better every year. Jackson shared with the Record-Herald, “When they see a casket just standing in front of the courthouse, it gets people wondering what’s going on. So that’s why we continue to choose that location. It raises flags and gets people wondering and that helps get the word out.”
The VSC would like everyone to know that if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support. Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, or text 838255.
Also, if you or any organization is willing to donate 20 minutes of their time to a wonderful cause, you can contact Tasha Jackson at 740-505-0335 or the office at 740-335-1610 to sign up for a time slot that best fits your schedule. All donations and volunteers are greatly appreciated and don’t go unnoticed.