A soldier in military uniform walking toward his family home after returning from duty.

Fighting for a wounded warrior

“I’m married to a wounded warrior. My husband Chris served in Iraq in 2007, 2009 and 2011. Then he went to Afghanistan in 2013 where he was exposed to incoming rocket blasts every day. When he came home from his last tour, everyone thought he was doing just fine. I was expecting our first child, we had our belated honeymoon at Disney World, and we were enjoying becoming a family.

Chris commuted to the base daily in what was then our only car. So, I stayed home while he worked. One afternoon, he called me and said he was thinking about crashing the car into an oncoming truck. And that he couldn’t manage things anymore. I had to stay on the line to talk him home hoping I didn’t hear a collision on the other end. When he got home, we turned around and headed back to base. At first, they wanted to put him on medication – in two weeks. I insisted we needed more urgent care, and we got it.

Chris is now out of the military and in counseling for PTSD and traumatic brain injury. It’s a daily struggle, and I will always worry for him because it’s hard to tell whether he may again think of harming himself.

I often think, what about all the soldiers who don’t have a Kim advocating for them? Well, my husband has lost approximately 30 of his military buddies to suicide. That’s why I am committed to taking action: I’ve founded three non-profit military family support groups in Connecticut that meet several times a month.”

Kimberly Brown works for PayFlex as a special initiatives and communication specialist. One of her responsibilities is to drive awareness about the importance of behavioral health for our veterans. Kimberley and her family live in Hartford, Connecticut.

Our commitment to suicide prevention

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends. To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers, and community members, we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times those at risk of suicide are most vulnerable.

CVS Health is prioritizing suicide prevention as a strategic imperative, intervening with members and non-members during vulnerable times to offer a range of specially tailored, evidence-based resources and support. CVS Health will also continue to work with suicide prevention non-profits and industry experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to deliver suicide prevention training and expanded resources to Aetna members and the public.

If you are thinking about suicide, know someone who is or need to talk with someone, we encourage you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).