There is a memorial in Broken Arrow for a veteran who died by suicide. The memorial was erected to raise awareness for other veterans who are going through crisis.
The silhouette unveiling Saturday was an ongoing effort by "Mission 22," a nonprofit that focuses on veterans who suffer from PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
The memorial meant a lot to Michael Coon, who lost his son, Staff Sergeant Michael K. Coon, in 2015.
“Not a better place to have it at for our young students that have learned about the sacrifices that our veterans,” Coon said.
Staff Sergeant Coon served 10 years in the Army. He was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf. He battled PTSD upon his return home.
Coon was honored with a 10-foot tall, 4-foot wide silhouette statue that will be on permanent display outside the Military History Center.
His father said the support from the city has been amazing.
Staff Sergeant Coon was also considered a Muscogee and Cherokee tribal warrior.
Former Muscogee Nation Principal Chief James Floyd said he hopes people never forget that not all scars are visible. They can be hidden deep inside.
“We have all kind of rallied behind and done all we could to support him and his family,” Floyd said. “A lot of people don’t like to talk about the suicide, but we have to get that discussion out in the open and hopefully save some veterans lives.”
A second steel silhouette of Coon will be installed at Broken Arrow's Veterans Park to raise awareness about veteran suicide.
The park will soon be the home to Mission 22's War at Home National Memorial, where 20 statues of veterans who died by suicide will be installed.
Coon believes that he has a lifelong mission to help veterans struggling with mental illness.
If you’d like to find out how you can support Mission 22 in their fight to help veterans with PTSD, click here.