Last month, our paper had the opportunity to visit Gold Shield headquarters and meet its founder and Mike Porcelli, its Chief of Staff. Here’s what we learned about their life-saving mission:
Today less than one percent of the country serve in our military, protecting the other ninety-nine percent of us. What do the rest of us know of the lives of those who have served; very little. Most of us are grateful for their service and believe they should receive all the benefits they have earned, and the Veterans Administration delivers those needed services to them.
Sadly, that is not the case. Recent reports have revealed some improvement in the Veterans Administration’s delivery of medical treatment to Vets, but many still do not receive proper care for all their needs when returning home, especially in treating PTSD, the cause of Veteran suicide.
As a result of government not serving the needs of Veterans effectively, the past two decades have seen an alarming increase in Veteran suicides, high above the rates for civilians. This tragedy goes largely unreported and is therefore unknown by most Americans.
About three years ago, a group of concerned citizens around the nation, led by an anonymous Veteran supporter, was outraged to learn of this disgrace, and vowed to do something about it. They formed an organization known as The Gold Shield with the purpose of ending the epidemic of Veteran suicide.
Gold Shield believes when the public learns we lose more Veterans to suicide than combat, and they are self-destructing at an average rate of 22 per day, more than 144,000 since 9-11, they will be outraged as well, and will be moved to take immediate action. The Gold Shield is mobilizing the nation behind their program to end the tragedy by enlisting the support of businesses large and small.
Those businesses are funding a national media campaign to bring this unknown tragedy to the national attention it needs to end. That awareness, motivates Businesses, and everyone nationwide, to donate to various Veteran charities that improve Veterans lives, because anything which improves the lives of Veterans, reduces their risk of suicide.
Their media campaign, dubbed The Simple Truth, is informing Americans that many Veterans do not receive proper care when returning home and the private sector, through The Gold Shield, is filling the gap where government has failed Veterans. Through newspaper, radio, and TV ads, funded by Gold Shield business members, this message is being seen by people nationwide. Their weekly newspaper column, The Unknown Vet, written by an anonymous Veteran, raises issues of interest to all Veterans, appeals to non-Veterans to fund Veteran causes, and reports on those who do, and those who merely claim to be supportive.
A local resident, Mike Porcelli of Glendale, an Army Intelligence Officer Veteran, and radio show host, serves as the organization’s Chief of Staff.
In closing, The Gold Shield’s message is very clear… The Simple Truth is: We owe our freedoms to our Veterans; many of them are sadly not properly welcomed home; thousands are needlessly lost to suicide every year; and government is not the answer. We-the -People can be, if we band together in The Gold Shield, by joining their life-saving campaign at: thegoldshield.us
BQE Media is proud to be a Strategic Partner of The Gold Shield