LifeTroops Enlists Law Enforcement Agencies To Help Veterans
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma group that has put together care packages for active troops for nearly 10 years has expanded its program to help soldiers when they get home. And they've enlisted local law enforcement agencies to join them.
LifeTroops has three agencies on board including the Logan County Sheriff's Office. The loss of deputy David Wade last year, prompted the agency to step up and help.
“Us losing Deputy Wade, you know, we shed tears for each other,” said Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereax.
After Deputy David Wade was shot and killed while serving an eviction notice last year, help poured in.
“There wasn't a day here where we didn't have six or eight counselors here 24 hours a day taking care of us,” said Sheriff Devereax.
This is why the agency has joined forces with LifeTroops, to help identify veterans who are suffering.
“The veterans in combat they lose friends every day, they're taking lives they're doing things that humans aren't designed to do without the emotional reparations or fall out,” he said.
So, deputies carry cards with them that have the contact number for LifeTroops. When they get a call involving a veteran in trouble, they hand them out. They also collect the veterans name and number and give it to LifeTroops.
“It just seemed like a clear path to get in front of as many of them as we could,” said LifeTroops Board President Maggie Clark.
Once the veteran calls in, LifeTroops has people standing by to identify any immediate needs.
“There can be homelessness; there can be substance abuse issues,” Clark said. “We find a place that can most quickly meet an immediate need but then after that we come in with our mentoring program.”
The LCSO also started Support 22, a social media campaign to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day and ways they are trying to combat it. They post a new video on the 22nd of each month on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/Logancountyso/
“As we see those vets that are or people in general that are going through a tough time or have some mental imbalance, the whole part of that training is to see it, identify it and figure out a means to get them help,” said Sheriff Devereax.