At age 18, veteran Carlos Vera enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served for six years. In 1992, he deployed to Somalia, Operation Restore Hope, and was among the first troops to arrive to that conflict. Poorly equipped and on call 24/7, the war left its mark. After leaving the military in 1997, all of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress were present, but it was years before he was diagnosed. Treatments he was offered failed. His last stop, at Operation Freedom Paws, was a truly life-saving experience–he was partnered with his service dog Ruthie.
22 U.S. veterans commit suicide every day. This statistic does not include servicewomen that have taken their lives.