• Wounded Warrior Project provides training for veterans in Jacksonville for suicide intervention

    By: Ryan Nelson , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    It's veteran suicide prevention week in the state of Florida and around the country the Wounded Warrior Project is training their teammates and local veterans alike in suicide intervention.

    The organization's national headquarters is holding a two-day training of their own.

    Jennifer MacInday quit her job to care for her brother.

    He was wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq 13 years ago. He struggled to adjust to life after combat, and she struggled to understand.

    “He had some physical wounds, but more than that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, he had a very sad heart, a lot of survivor’s guilt,” said MacInday. “And that led us both to a really dark place. We both struggled with thoughts of suicide and trying to figure out if we had a future for ourselves."

    Their story is evidence of why the Wounded Warrior Project is trying to help.

    Organizers say it’s an important conversation to have.

    “It’s not a weakness in regards to reaching out for help, but it’s a strength,” said Michelle Neary, Warrior Care Network specialist. 

    Navy reservist Alex Balbir is in the training and has faced veterans in distress .

    He says the goal in crucial moments is listening and having a conversation.

    “There’s a bit of a turning point where I can start to work with that individual and get them to a safer place,” he said. 

     MacInday says what she’s learned here has helped herself and her brother.

    “Really working on having a great quality of life and accessing the community,” she said.

    It’s a testimony she hopes others will be able to give as a result of the training.

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