Local Navy veteran working to reduce the number of veteran suicides in East Texas and the United States

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. For Navy veteran, Coby Dillard, 22 is too many, so he’s working to lessen that number.

A recent study by the Department of Veteran Affairs showed 6,000 veterans have committed suicide every year since 2006. This is why UT Tyler and former military members came together for an online meeting to inform people on how to spot the signs and what to do about it.

During the event, they had a question and answer period where the panelists spoke with the virtual audience via Zoom. They talked about everything from the benefits of animal assistance programs to post traumatic stress disorder.

“Spending six years in the military then being thrust back out into the civilian world. I didn’t not manage that very well,” said Dillard.

Dillard said he had transition stress. This is when former military members have a difficult time adapting to normal life.

Now, he’s encouraging veterans to use their local resources if they’re having mental health issues.

“Let’s make sure that as individual you’re transitioning out of military, they are prepared for the life that they are coming back into,” says Dillard.

UT Tyler is having another virtual panel discussion about veterans on Friday Nov. 13 at 12 p.m. via Zoom. All are welcome.

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