West Virginia adjutant general, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, and senior enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Phillip Cantrell, address the force regarding suicide prevention and resiliency for Suicide Prevention Month. (U.S. Air National Guard video by Maj. Holli Nelson)
In our Nation’s history, our military members and their families have never been more important. Not just to the safety and security of our Nation, but to maintaining the standards of conduct and values that our founding fathers envisioned when they formed this Nation and established our Constitution. There’s a significant amount of stress on our military members and their families with a significant OPTEMPO we have to address the many threats that we face, both outside threats, as well as us in the National Guard also being responsible for responding to emergencies in our State. Our military service members and their families need to understand that sometimes this stress causes unique challenges for all of us. Sergeant Major and I have been part of having those challenges in our lives as well as our families. What we all need to understand in the West Virginia National Guard, it’s important to all of us when we have those stressors, it’s okay to reach out for help and support from a fellow service member, to a first line supervisor, to the many assets that we have within the West Virginia National Guard to support our service members and their families. Resiliency of our force is absolutely important to our success and what we have to do to defend our Nation and preserve those values that our founding fathers established for us. I ask all of you as well as Sergeant Major ask you, when you have circumstances that you feel are beyond your control, or things that you need assistance and help on, reach out. Reach out to a fellow service member, reach out to a first line supervisor, or go directly to the services that we have available to us as members of the National Guard to make sure that we are both physically healthy but also mentally healthy. Not just us, but our families and that we remain a resilient force able to do the things that our Nation expects us to do. Thank you and God bless you for your service.