Oklahoma paramedics working to raise awareness about veteran suicide rates

TULSA, Okla. – Paramedics across the state are known to provide medical attention to Oklahomans when they need it most. Now,  a pair of paramedics in Tulsa is working to protect veterans.

Each day, 22 families of American veterans are affected by suicide.

Kathleen Gault, an EMSA paramedic, knows first hand about the effects of suicide on a family. Her brother, Matthew, served eight years as a United States Marine.

When he returned from a tour in Afghanistan, she knew something had changed.

Sadly, he took his own life when he was just 26-years-old.

“With suicide, a lot of the guilt is, why was I or my love not good enough to save this person?” Gault told KJRH. 

Recently, a post by another EMSA paramedic caught Gault’s eye.

Chaz Dahda posted a video of him performing the 22 push-up challenge alongside other first responders to bring awareness to veteran suicide rates.

“When you have depression, you don’t feel like you can talk to people because they’ll look at you weird or judge you or say that you don’t handle it,” Dahda said.

Dahda is making it his mission to open the door for these conversations.

If you are a veteran, or know one who needs help, call the VA crisis line at 1-800-273-8255.

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