Florida Matters: Veteran Suicide Part 1

Florida Matters: Veteran Suicide Part 1
Florida Matters: Veteran Suicide Part 1

Our country asks a lot of its military members, most recently during the many years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan. The multiple deployments during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn have taken their toll, in part, through an increased risk in suicide, especially among young male veterans.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is pouring resources into mental health efforts and suicide prevention, but we’re also more aware of the devastating impact a suicide can have on the loved ones that he or she leaves behind.

Florida Matters is doing a special two-part program on veteran suicide, its impact on comrades and loves ones and the support available for prevention and healing.

Our guests include:

Chaplain Linda Pugsley, a Vietnam veteran flight nurse and chaplain at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

Carla Stumpf-Patton, Director of Postvention Programs with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and surviving spouse of Marine D.I. SGT Richard Stumpf

Kelly Kennedy, U.S. Army veteran Communications Specialist, award-winning journalist and author of the book “They Fought for Each Other.”

Our conversation on veteran suicide continues on July 4th with the second part of our program, but we invite you to keep the discussion going now.

Have you been touched by veteran suicide? Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section below, on our Facebook page, or by emailing FloridaMatters@wusf.org

Listed below are links and information about some additional resources available for suicide prevention and healing.

For anyone who has suffered the death of a service member or veteran:



For military community in need of support:





For the general population:




Some Tampa-based veteran centers to get help:

1.   Tampa Vet Center: 3637A W Waters Ave/813-228-2621

2.   James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital: 13000 Bruce B Downs Blvd/813-972-2000

3.   Veterans of Foreign Wars: 105 W Broad St /813-237-3183

4.   Veterans of Foreign Wars: 8414 N 40th St/813-985-6111

5.   United States Government US Veterans Affairs: 1507 W Sligh Ave/813-228-2621

Original Broadcast Date: 

Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1

Robin Sussingham

Robin Trohn Sussingham is a reporter and program host at WUSF Public Broadcasting, and is the producer of Florida Matters. She came to WUSF from public radio stations KUER and KCPW in Utah, has contributed stories to NPR and Marketplace, and also has an extensive background in print reporting. She was born in Lakeland and often reports about Polk County.

Contact Information

Florida Matters isn’t just one-way communication. We want you to get involved in the conversation each week and tell us what you think about the topics we’re discussing.

All you have to do is sign up for a free account on our Web site -- it’s free, easy, and we promise we won’t share your information! We welcome your input as we continue to find new stories to share in the Bay area.

And if you have an idea for a show or want to contact the producers, send an e-mail to floridamatters@wusf.org.