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Together, we can face the fight against veteran suicide.

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Yourself & Others

If you or someone you know is struggling upon returning home and needs immediate, professional help–call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline and press 1 for veteran support or visit the website to talk with a VA responder.

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Stanley Sanders

U.S. Navy | Retired

Stan was a Yeoman Petty Officer 2nd Class in the Navy, serving from ’84 to ’91. In 2000, he became a police officer and served there for 18 years.

He was working in 2017 when he received a call for a 17-year-old who had laid down in front of a nearby train and died by suicide. Stan, himself, had to break the horrifying news to the boy’s parents which left him with nightmares, pain, and a bottle to numb it all.

Even with his loving wife Britton and 4 kids at home, Stan could only think of one way to make this constant pain go away. “Nothing about suicide really makes sense. But when you’re in that frame of mind, it seems to make perfect sense.” He says, “I told her, “I wasn’t gonna make it’ and she drove me right to the emergency room, where my battle really began.”

“To Face the Fight means not giving up hope… and to keep finding out that you’re worth it.”

His wife, Britton, thinks of his ability to ask for help as a sign of strength. She says, “mental health should not have the stigma it has around it because that’s what’s killing people.” Veterans and the general public shouldn’t have to get to the point where they attempt to die by suicide before getting help. “We need to create a space where people feel safe to come out and ask for help before. Even if it’s not the crisis lines, but just telling a friend,” Britton explains.

Stan went to a psychological hospital and Britton supported him on his road to recovery. He says, “To Face the Fight means not giving up hope…and to keep finding out that you’re worth it.”

After being in horse therapy programs, Stan ended up working with Blackhorse for Heroes to help other veterans who are undergoing a mental health crisis. “We’re veterans, we fight and we never stop. But you know, this battle against our own demons, we don’t have to be alone in it.”

“I don’t think anything is more important to me than preventing veteran suicide and making sure they know they’re important.”

Facing the Facts

Melissa Lopez

U.S. Army Reserves | Active

Going on 17 years, Melissa’s military service has included two deployments to Iraq where she fought for her country.

She didn’t face depression or thoughts of suicide right after coming home, the feelings took time to develop as coping mechanisms failed or faded away. She felt like she didn’t have an official support system to turn to.

So, she started within — as an advocate for herself. But after she saw what happened to her family in the wake of her sister’s death by suicide, she knew she had to be open for help.

She wasn’t herself. Not laughing or engaging, feeling exhausted, letting details slip and putting herself in situations where she could seem fine.

“Veteran suicide can happen to anybody, to the happiest person in the room,” she says.

Melissa’s advice: If you find yourself deep into suicidal thoughts, call the 988 hotline. Reach out to leadership. Talk to friends; people who’ve gone through it. You’ll be surprised. There is no shame. You’re not crazy.

Today, Melissa works with an understanding therapist. She’s opened up to her friends and family. She’s found a support-person who checks in when she acts out of character or seems to be having a hard time.

“The colors come back slowly,” she says. But with the courage to ask for help — and continuing to ask for help — there is hope in the fight. “And it’s worth it. It’s worth holding on for.”

Committed to Veterans

Founded by USAA, Face the Fight is a coalition of corporations, foundations, nonprofit and veteran-focused organizations joined together to raise awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention. Our mission is to break the stigmas surrounding suicide in order to open conversation and support around the topic. Facing the reality of veteran suicide is a struggle. But when people face this fight together there is hope.

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Together, we can #FaceTheFight and give hope to all our veterans.

Vernard Hines

U.S. Army | Retired

As a professional comedian, Vernard loves to make people laugh. But there was a time in his life that he couldn’t find the laughter.

“I did 20 years, seven months, and four days. I was a signal soldier. I love being a signal soldier. I love communicating. I love talking,” he says.

His transition from the military to civilian life was rough because he didn’t recognize that something was wrong. “I figured if I could go to war and do everything over there, I could come back here and just be the regular me.”

Vernard turned to alcohol to escape the present.

“I wasn’t there. I was working, paying the bills, doing what I was supposed to do — but I wasn’t present. There was something in the back of my mind telling me that I didn’t even need to be there anymore.”

His daughter was afraid of him, his now ex-wife said the husband she knew died in Iraq, and he wasn’t the person who’d left.

“I was 24 hours away from killing myself. I knew the plan. I had set it up. I was going to leave a note for my family.”

It’s not your fault. It’s all my fault. You’re better off without me.

Vernard decided to speak up instead, to talk to a pastor who helped him find the resources he needed.

“Back then, there wasn’t the 988 hotline. But even if you don’t call it — you have to talk to someone. You are worth it. You. Are. Worth. It.

Now, Vernard is there for others who find themselves in critical moments.

The veterans he’s helped are “still here to this day. That’s what Face the Fight means to me. Going to veteran’s hospitals and recovery centers. Helping people laugh.”

Known as The Laugh Therapist, Vernard now takes time out every two weeks to work with veterans at a 45-day residential facility in Portsmouth, VA called Safe Harbor Recovery. “Being able to give back to veterans is why I get up in the morning. But I’m not THE resource. I am just a resource.”

That’s why he’s a part of Face the Fight, “and the reason I want other veterans to get involved is that it's an ongoing fight. We don’t leave anyone behind. You are fighting for your life. You're fighting for your family. You are fighting for whatever is in your life worth fighting for.

Fighting is in our DNA. Keep fighting. We’re in this together. There are resources. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like yelling, yell. You will not be judged. We’re on the same team.”

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Román Baca

U.S. Marine Corps | Veteran

Before becoming a Marine, achieving the rank of sergeant, and deploying to Fallujah, Iraq in 2005 — Román was a dancer.

“I wanted to help people, I wanted to contribute to something larger than myself. So, I joined the Marine Corps.”

It wasn’t until he returned home that he realized the toll that contribution had taken. He knew he’d stepped away from the arts, from his passion. But it was one conversation with the woman who ultimately became his wife that opened his eyes to the impact his experiences had on him.

“She said that the person in front of her was angry, depressed, anxious — and mean. She said people were afraid of me. And that wasn’t the person I wanted to be.”

Román knew there was this thing aching to come out of him. Something that only he could tell the world. So, he started a dance company that put tales of war and survivorship on the stage.

“We started to tell people about the experiences that we’d had in Iraq, on patrol, working amongst locals. We told about the war we saw, the crazy things that happened — that didn’t look like the war that was on television, or on the radio or in newspapers — to see if we could make sense of them.”

Through dance, Román has shared the stories of veteran after veteran who died by suicide — what he calls a horrible epidemic. He even helped a member of his troop choreograph the story of her brother, who died by suicide three days before he was set to leave Afghanistan for the second time. The piece was performed in Arlington National Cemetery, just steps from his grave.

“Having lost so many friends to suicide has made my personal mission stronger,” he says. “It takes bravery and courage to face the fight. Exposing their personal stories and who they are is extremely scary. I’ve seen people do a lot of brave things. But I haven’t seen anything as brave as that.”

In this journey, the hardest thing for Román has been to share his own story.

“It’s hard to ask for help, to lean on others and to explain why you feel the way you do. But you are not alone. There are people around you that care about you. There are people around who will listen. It’s hard. But you have to start talking.”


Are you or is someone you know at risk? These resources can help all of us face the fight against veteran suicide.

Get Help in Crisis

Veteran Crisis Line

If you need help, call the Suicide & Crisis Hotline at 988 then press 1 for 24/7 confidential crisis support for veterans and their loved ones.

Get Peer-Support

Get Mental Health Treatment

Get Military Transition Support

Get Career Support

Get Financial Resources

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Get Involved

The Coalition Committed to the Fight

Face the Fight is a coalition of corporations, foundations, nonprofit and veteran-focused organizations joined together to raise awareness and support for veteran suicide prevention.

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Founding Members

Humana Foundation

Creating healthy emotional connections for veterans is at the core of the Humana Foundation’s strategy. We have thousands of dedicated employees and are advancing equitable health outcomes for underserved veterans no matter their age, race, or gender. In partnership with the Face the Fight coalition members, the Humana Foundation is focused on decreasing military suicides through innovation and removing the systemic barriers that prevent veterans from achieving and sustaining a healthy lifestyle.

Reach Resiliance

We advance the longstanding commitment to our veterans and their families by prioritizing suicide prevention through a proven, holistic wellness approach that focuses on health, healing and hope. Through this partnership, Reach Resilience works to address the risks of suicide by providing mental health support, transition and financial assistance, housing, and case management, so all veterans have the opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.


We founded and spearheaded the Face the Fight coalition to provide grants to leading non-profits, commit philanthropic investments — starting with $10M over an 18-month period, and encourage others to provide funding and solutions for our veterans at risk.


America’s Warrior Partnership

America's Warrior Parnership works with communities to prevent veteran suicide by starting at the community level and understanding the unique situations of veterans and their families. We connect local veteran-serving organizations with the appropriate resources, services, and partners that they need to support veterans, their families, and caregivers at every stage of veterans’ lives.

American Legion

The American Legion is the largest wartime veterans service organization with nearly 2 million members and more than 12,000 posts in communities throughout America. The American Legion, established by an act of Congress in 1919, was instrumental in getting the original GI Bill through Congress and the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Today, the organization is active throughout the United States, supporting current military personnel and veterans, sponsoring American Legion Baseball, Boys State, Oratorical Contests and other activities for youth, and pushing for the adoption of a constitutional amendment to prohibit desecration of the U.S. flag.


AMVETS (American Veterans) is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization, representing the interests of 20 million veterans. AMVETS is open to and fighting for all who honorably served in the United States military, including the Reserve and Guard. With more than 250,000 members nationwide, we are veterans serving veterans. The AMVETS mission is to enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all American Veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families, and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services.

American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association works to support military personnel and Veterans, their families and their communities, as well as the psychologists who conduct health research with and provide direct services to these military-connected populations. APA Services advocates for policies that prevent suicide, promotes the use of evidence-based psychotherapies in the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), ensures mental health promotion is included in the transition from active duty to Veteran status, promotes health research relevant to military personnel and Veterans, and protects integrated care at the VA.

Blue Star Families

Blue Star Families was founded by military spouses in 2009 to empower the families of our all-volunteer military to thrive as they serve. We're committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors – individuals and organizations – to create vibrant communities of mutual support. We believe we're all stronger when we take care of one another.

Bob Woodruff Foundation

In 2006, Bob Woodruff was reporting from Iraqi for ABC’s “World News Tonight.” Bob’s armored vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb, and he sustained a life-threatening traumatic brain injury. Due to quick actions of brave soldiers, medics, and military medical professionals, Bob’s life was saved. Today, the Bob Woodruff Foundation ensures that our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families — those who stood for us — have stable and successful futures.


Centerstone is a nonprofit health system providing mental health and substance use disorder treatments. Services are available nationally through the operation of outpatient clinics, residential programs, the use of telehealth, an inpatient hospital, and offer specialized programs for the military community.

Comcast NBCUniversal

Comcast NBCUniversal believes in connecting with the military community by creating an inclusive workplace for military teammates and special experiences for military customers and communities. Our commitment to military engagement is deeply rooted in our culture, going back decades to our founder, U.S. Navy veteran Ralph Roberts.

Cohen Veterans Network

At Cohen Veterans Network, we seek to improve the quality of life for veterans, including those from the National Guard and Reserves, active duty, and their families. CVN works to strengthen mental health outcomes and complement existing support. Our vision is to ensure that every veteran, active duty service member, and family member is able to obtain access to high-quality care that enables them to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

Columbia Lighthouse Project

The Columbia Lighthouse Project’s mission is to light the way to ending suicide. Our message, like the Columbia Protocol itself, is simple: “Just Ask. You Can Save a Life.” The Project was formed under the auspices of Columbia University to disseminate the Columbia Protocol — also known as the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) — as well as to optimize the protocol’s impact through support for its users, and to continue to build the science behind the protocol. The Columbia Protocol is a key to ending suicide — a devastating, but preventable, worldwide public health crisis.

Crisis Text Line

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by empowering a community of trained volunteers to support people in their moments of need. We are at the intersection of empathy and innovation — we promote mental well-being for people wherever they are.

CVS Health

Guided by our purpose, CVS Health is building an entire world of health care around each and every person we serve, no matter where they are on their journey. We listen, show empathy, and deliver innovative solutions that serve people’s unique needs and earn their loyalty. Because how we deliver our services is just as important as what we deliver. CVS has engaged colleagues to support programs that honor veterans and their families while also leading the way in making CVS Health an industry recognized employer of veterans, and active members of the National Guard and Reserve.

Disabled American Veterans

We are dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

In 2012, former Senator Elizabeth Dole founded Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation to raise awareness and support for the 5.5 million spouses, mothers, fathers and other loved ones caring for our nation’s wounded warriors at home. Today, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation is the preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring our nation’s hidden heroes.

The Headstrong Project

Get confidential, barrier-free, and stigma-free PTSD and mental health treatment for veterans, service members, and families connected to their care.

Hiring Our Heroes

Hiring Our Heroes, a Chamber of Commerce Foundation, connects the military community—service members, military spouses, and veterans—with American businesses to create economic opportunity and a strong and diversified workforce.

Independence Fund

Founded in 2007, The Independence Fund is committed to empowering our nation’s catastrophically wounded, injured, or ill Veterans to overcome physical, mental, and emotional wounds incurred in the line of duty. We are dedicated to improving the lives of both our Veterans and their families.

IVMF Syracuse

Syracuse University has a historic commitment to serving veterans and their families and the founding of the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families in 2011 further expands that commitment to serve across the country and beyond. IVMF's mission is to empower service members, veterans, and their families through actionable research, innovative programs, and insightful analytics.

Lockheed Martin

Through charitable contributions and volunteerism, Lockheed Martin improves the lives of those who defend freedom, cultivates the workforce of the future, and strengthens the resiliency of communities where we live and work. Nearly one in five Lockheed Martin employees have served in uniform, so we are proud to work alongside coalition partners also invested in reducing military service member and veteran suicide and improving mental health outcomes for those who have served. Let us Face the Fight together.

Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN)

The Military Family Advisory Network envisions a world where all military-connected families are empowered to thrive. Our mission is to understand and amplify the needs of military-connected families and inspire data-informed change.

Military Officers Association of America

MOAA is the nation's largest and most influential association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. We are a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and representing the interests of military officers at every stage of their careers. We are the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. We provide expert advice and guidance to our members.

Minority Veterans of America

Minority Veterans of America is building an intersectional movement of minority veterans and allies. We advocate equity, respect, and justice for all veterans. We’re creating community among our members and delivering culturally-informed programming. MVA's mission is to create community, belonging, and advance equity for minority veterans.

National Military Family Association (NMFA)

For more than 50 years, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) has been on a mission to stand up for, support, and enhance the quality of life for every military family through bold advocacy, innovative programming, and dynamic and responsive solutions.


Philips is a leading health technology company focused on improving people's health and well-being through meaningful innovation. Our mission is to improve the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030, including those of our military men and women. Our relationship with the Veterans Administration spans over fifty years, and by combining technologies like telehealth, with clinical expertise in our patient-and-people-centric approach, we can help offer flexible and personalized healthcare to veterans closer to home.

Objective Zero

Objective Zero Foundation enhances social connectedness and access to wellness and mental health resources to combat suicide within the military and veteran community, which includes service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers. We use an upstream approach to suicide prevention, connecting our users to volunteer peer and civilian support Pathfinders and to a variety of resources from yoga and meditation to free or low cost mental health care.

Oracle Health

Oracle Health is revolutionizing the public health landscape to safeguard a lifetime of seamless, safe, and effective care for service members, Veterans, and their families. Our work empowers federal agencies to securely share patient information—while arming providers with emerging technologies and state-of-the-art clinical decision support tools—to help address pressing public health concerns like military and Veteran suicide. We stand with our Face the Fight coalition members in our commitment to serve those who’ve served.

Paralyzed Veterans of America

PVA was originally founded by a band of service members who came home from World War II with spinal cord injuries. These wounded heroes made a decision not just to live, but to live with dignity as contributors to society. They created Paralyzed Veterans of America, an organization dedicated to serving veterans—and to medical research, advocacy and civil rights for all people with disabilities. Since 1946, PVA has been on a mission to change lives and build brighter futures for our seriously injured heroes. We’ve had a single-minded mission—to empower our brave men and women to regain what they fought for: their freedom and independence.


As a nationally recognized nonprofit leader and preferred training provider for military cultural awareness, we serve members of the military-connected community and anyone who wants to more effectively engage with them. We power learning journeys, from continuing education to customized trainings, through a rich learning ecosystem--including online courses, curricula, podcasts, webinars, live speaking engagements, social media and more. Powered by PsychArmor, learners and organizations can collectively create impact and change that benefits outcomes for military, Veterans and their families.

Stop Soldier Suicide

Not all crisis looks the same. Stop Soldier Suicide is our promise to those who are facing it. Our struggles may be loud or silent; all-consuming or passing; during service or any time after; a moment or a lifetime. We have a relentless focus on results. We don't just say we support veterans and service members - we actually save lives.

Student Veterans of America

Student Veterans of America (SVA) elevates the academic, professional, and personal development of veterans in higher education through chapter programs and services, outcomes and impacts research, and advocacy at every level. With a mission focused on empowering student veterans, SVA is committed to providing an educational experience that goes beyond the classroom.


TAPS is the national nonprofit organization providing compassionate care and comprehensive resources for all those grieving the death of a military or veteran loved one. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. TAPS provides a variety of programs to survivors nationally and worldwide.

TriWest Healthcare Alliance

Founded in 1996, TriWest Healthcare Alliance (TriWest) is the only company of its kind with one sole purpose that continues today – serving the health care needs of the nation’s military and Veteran communities. Since its founding, TriWest has been On a Mission to Serve® our Veteran and military communities through access to convenient and affordable health care they have earned and deserve.

The USAA Educational Foundation

The USAA Educational Foundation provides free resources to help military members and veterans make smart financial decisions across every stage of life. From making a budget to managing debt the USAAEF makes it easy to understand and help you establish a strong financial understanding of a sometimes complex world.

USAA Foundation

The USAA Foundation, Inc. is a private grantmaking foundation, founded by USAA, with the charitable mission to lead and inspire actions that improve lives in the military and local community.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Across its missions of research, education, patient care and community service, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also called UT Health San Antonio, remains relentlessly committed to advancing the health of all in San Antonio and the surrounding region. At UT Health San Antonio, the STRONG STAR Training Initiative is dedicated to increasing national access to evidence-based treatments for PTSD, suicide and related mental health problems through training, implementation, and research.

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veteran’s service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. With roots dating back to 1899 when veterans founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service, some banded together to become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today, the VFW family has a membership of more than 1.5 million members and works to ensure that veterans are respected, receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for their sacrifices to this great country.

Veteran Spouse Network

The Veteran Spouse Network facilitates a community of peer support for military and veteran spouses and committed partners, providing opportunities to engage and connect to helpful resources and a community of support. Our work is guided by the understanding that veteran families rely on strong supportive communities while facing their unique challenges. Spouses and committed partners, this is your network, meant to incorporate your input, voice, and perspectives.


Vets4Warriors is an innovative, national nonprofit program that builds resilience and improves the well-being of veterans, military service members and their loved ones by providing confidential, virtual veteran peer support 'upstream' before a crisis can occur. Vets4Warriors' veteran Peer Support Specialists are available live, 24/7 year-round through multiple communication channels to connect with individuals who may need help managing challenges like social isolation or loneliness, transitions, depression, PTSD, family issues or other issues, and reassure them that they are never alone while also connecting them to proven resources.

Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) began in 2003 as a small, grassroots effort providing simple care and comfort items to the hospital bedsides of the first wounded service members returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As their post-service needs evolved, so have our programs and services. Today, through our direct programs in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care, along with our advocacy efforts, we improve the lives of millions of warriors and their families.