“I Refuse to Give Up”

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McCaddon family

Mike and Leslie McCaddon

Today, I am tired of suicide.

I ache in my bones and muscles and soul for all the suffering that continues to occur.

I am tired of learning about people who reached out for help, sometimes screaming for help, and they were dismissed by the military.

I am tired of hearing widows who not only blame themselves unfairly, but are also blamed by the military (in writing) as the trigger for their husband’s suicide.

I am tired of an endless problem that seems to have no clear solution.

My heart breaks for each of us.

The moms, dads, siblings, widows and children. If we aren’t asking why any more (and many of us have learned to stop asking that question) we are asking what can we do?

Today, I am tried and frustrated that the number of suicides keeps going up and more and more families are in need of support from TAPS.

I don’t have the solution. But, I refuse to give up. We all have to refuse to give up.

Saturday one of the presenters, Franklin Cook — who is a suicide survivor himself — said: “You can survive anything if you keep showing up.”

And so, though at times today I was tempted to retreat to my room to process my fatigue and frustration, I kept showing up. And I will keep showing up until the path is clearer on what we can do to help our men and women in the military, and their families.

In the meantime, I’m going to process my grief (and too many others) the best way that I can. As TAPS says, I will Remember the love, Celebrate the life and Share the journey.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me for a while. I hope that together we can make it really count.

Leslie McCaddon of Massachusetts was one of two widows Time featured in its July cover story on the surge in Army suicides. Her husband, Dr. Michael McCaddon, an Army captain, died in March.


A message to mothers,  for others --

Smedley Butler: ". . .The only way you can resist all this war hysteria and beating tomtoms is by hanging onto the love you bear your boys.  When you listen to some well-worded, well-delivered speech, just remember that it's nothing but Sound.  It's your boy that matters.  And no amount of sound can make up to you for the loss of your boy. . ."


Does the Pentagon have a soul?  They are a war machine - figure it out.  Another suicide is Ground Hog Day to them. 


if the military gave one flying fig about actually preventing suicides,

it would change its policy of requiring reporting of treatment on

security clearance questionnaires. But instead, it cares more about CYA

than ensuring Soldiers get the treatment they need, so at least they can

point to the form and say "hey, we asked." In reality, this question

either deters help seeking behavior or makes one feel so conflicted

about it that it is discontinued at some point before completion. CHANGE



You confirmed what I always suspected : "Just show up."

With your permission , I will add my two cents : The secret of showing up is usually the humble TDL(to do list), usually made the night before the next morning !!!

Leslie, God Bless You !!

You are strong as steel,

and you will survive,

come what may !!!


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