Most of Missouri’s National Guard units are turning the upcoming training weekend into a special stand-down to address military suicides. 

The military moved to put special emphasis on  suicide prevention after  a record number of suicides in July.   Guard members will be talking about available resources, the importance of checking on buddies, and resilience.  The Joint Force Chaplain, Colonel Gary Gilmore, says it’s hard to find a common cause for the military suicides. But there are some indicators.

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     He says deployment is not necessarily a factor.    Gilmore says the Guard also has a program for family members to recognize problems and seek help for their loved ones.  

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     Gilmore says tries to make a “heart connection” with each person to emphasis how important they are. 

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     Gilmore was a Baptist minister in Mount Vernon for 16 years before becoming a fulltime chaplain with the National Guard.