Moorhead Committee Raises Awareness of Veteran Suicide

Written By | Michael Reeves

For veterans day I was asked to help with making an event for our campus here in Moorhead. For me, this was something that I was passionate about because I have a lot of family and friends that are members of the military, or former members. Additionally, I thought that I wanted to find some facet relating to the military where there was something that I can do my part to help them.  To me, that meant helping raise awareness of veteran suicide statistics.

What leads me to do this project, in particular, is because I knew a veteran that committed suicide. His girlfriend at the time was beyond devastated and wanted to do something to honor him. She got involved with the silhouette project and asked to have one of the silhouettes be his. That is where I originally learned of what it was and how it was done.

After talking with our campus intern Stevie, I was told that it was an awesome idea for something that we could do, as long as we had permission from the original silhouette project, which is located in Maine. That same week I had both permission and the full support of Linda Lajoie, the person who was the founder of the project.  In return, she wanted pictures, and any news coverage was to be shared with her as well.

She also wanted it to be held to the same standard as the originals. The key elements were that it had to have twenty-two life-size cutouts of people. For the version we did here in Moorhead, we had a student who was a veteran come and have her outline sketched onto the cardboard. Each had to be uniformly painted so that they looked identical. Additionally, I added a sheet to each silhouette that explained what the project was and what the goal of it was; I also added four resources for people who are feeling depressed or suicidal.

The ultimate goal of the project is to raise awareness of the statistic of twenty-two veterans who commit suicide each day and to have this awareness lead to a new statistic of none that commit suicide each day.

Moorhead's silhouette project was covered by WDAY watch the video here


Aly Hagglund