Battle on the Home Front


My latest Tableau Public viz and this blog post are not about about sankey’s, radial bar charts, or any other cool Tableau tricks. They are about an issue that I hope we all become more aware of: the mental health of our returning military members. United States military deployments can last anywhere from 4 months to over a year (18 months was not uncommon at the height of Iraq and Afghanistan operations). During this time our service members are away from their families dealing with a variety of unpredictable, chaotic, and sometimes traumatizing environments, often for months at a time. Even when military members return to their family’s physically unharmed, that does not mean that they are okay. 

A variety of obstacles face returning service members including reintegrating into civilian society, increased family issues and stress due to their extended absence, financial issues, and coping with the effects of PTSD sustained during deployment. These unique challenges can often lead to increased risks of self harm among veterans. My latest viz, found here, is meant to highlight these increased risks.

Being aware of these risks is the first step in helping family, friends, or loved ones who are facing these obstacles. It is important that we talk about these issues as a society, and not just because of veterans, but because suicide rates are increasing across all segments of the population. If you are a friend or family member of a veteran, I would urge you to take time and educate yourself on the risks of veterans and suicide so that if you need to act, it is not too late. 

At the bottom of my visualization, I have listed several organizations other than the VA that provide support and care for veterans dealing with an assortment of ailments. If you feel so moved, I would encourage you to donate to these wonderful organizations. 

In Loving Memory of Sgt. Brock Benson                 

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