In the rural towns and harsh climate of La Paz County too many of our vets live in isolation with no social connections and little opportunity for others to know when they are in crisis and need help. This is amplified by our rural location and relatively high percentage of vets. Vet Net is a program involving individuals and organizations throughout our communities committed to addressing a serious crisis that now exists in our region.
A recent study showed that the current national veteran suicide rate is 30 veterans for every 100,000 people and also that this rate is more than twice that of their civilian counterparts. Recently La Paz County's veteran suicide rate reached a staggering 500% of this already troubling national average. Our local veterans are in immediate crisis and with many who are mobility impaired, unable or unwilling to travel from outside their homes the solution is a difficult one. However we cannot leave our vets living in isolation with little or no social interactions and very limited opportunities for others to know when a vet is in crisis before it is too late.
We believe there is an opportunity to connect vets with other vets,
help them create new social connections, and provide crisis early
warning and learning opportunities from within their own lifestyle and
comfort zone throughout our rural communities. To achieve this our
organization has begun establishing a regional amateur radio program
called "Vet Net" that will use and build upon existing radio repeater
networks in place today, backed by several different support programs,
to address the problem.
The program creates the opportunity for our vets to connect, listen in, and enter discussions with other veterans that can create for them a feeling of belonging, support and a way for others to learn that they may be in crisis. There are also many other opportunities including the possibility for vets to engage and give back to their local communities. What are some of the other benefits? Vet Net will:
Vet Net provides vets an easy way to start or join daily discussion sessions with other vets via this amateur radio network... all from the comfort of their own homes. This can provide an immediate social "connection" whether its from just listening to vets speak with other vets about what vets like to talk about... or whether they press the button on their radio and join in the conversation. As the program develops it will expand its ability to provide even more support, encouragement and training to any vets who wish to go father. The project also inherently provides easy and frequent welfare checks that might not otherwise be available.
The My La Paz Project has already begun the expansion of the local
radio network, has developed all the training programs, and is launching
its first wave of Veteran's classes in September of 2016. To keep the
program alive we need additional funding to continue to maintain and
expand the radio network, to provide free learning materials and radios
for our veterans, and to continue to fuel new ideas that arise within
the program itself to create new opportunities for our veterans moving
in the direction that they would like to pursue. We hope you will be
interested to learn more and possibly support our goal to turn around
our local veteran's crisis.
For more information please contact Dave at:
The My La Paz Project
Phone: +1 602-616-8338