Program Extra Video Interviews
The suicide of a member of the military can be more far-reaching than the victim will ever know. The following agencies could be a source of help to those struggling to find answers after such a loss:
In June of 2009, Chancellor Keesling, son of Indianapolis residents Gregg and Jannett Keesling, took his own life while serving with the Army Reserve in Iraq. Since then the family has been engaged in its own kind of combat, fighting a battle against doubt, guilt, grief, uncertainty... and an overwhelming sense of loss.
"A country needs a military, and somebody's got to serve." These words tore at the hearts of Indiana parents Gregg and Jannett Keesling when their young son Chancellor told them he’d decided to join the Army. Those words echo hollowly in the wake of Chance’s death, not in combat, but by suicide.
Why had Chance, brought up in the pacifist Quaker tradition, decided he should be on the front lines of the war in Iraq? What did US military officials miss that could have shown them that Chance was a suicide risk? And what needs to happen to prevent more Americans serving in the military from taking their own lives?
Statistics show us that more American military personnel now die in Iraq and Afghanistan from suicide than from combat. In a story that made national headlines and reached all the way to the White House, Gregg Keesling shares first-hand his crisis as a father who lost his beloved son
In Self Sacrifice: A Son, A Soldier, A Suicide Gregg Keesling reflects on his family’s experience, in hopes of helping us better understand the enormity of the problem of suicide in the military, and what can be done to make this bad situation better.