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VFW Post hosts suicide prevention seminar on Sunday

Retired Army veteran Bob Aufderhar started noticing a theme in his Army Times magazine - suicide prevention.

"There was something about suicide every week," he said. "In one article it said more of their people were killed by suicide than in combat. It's a hell of a big problem."

It's for that reason that the members of VFW Post 10818 are sponsoring "Suicide - The Silent Veterans Epidemic," a seminar on suicide prevention at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 15. The session will be held at the Community Commons building, 421 S. Green Ave., in the gymnasium.

The seminar will be a one-hour presentation by Pam End of Horn, suicide prevention director of the VA Hospital's Mental Health Unit in St. Cloud, Minn.

End of Horn came highly recommended by the local VFW's advisors, Aufderhar said.

This session is open to the public. A large number of New Richmond's Company B, 1-128th Infantry unit will be in attendance, along with members of the Army Reserves in Hammond and VWF posts in Baldwin and Somerset.

"We're expecting between 200 and 400 people," Aufderhar said.

Bob Aufderhar said the presentation was planned the weekend of April 15 because soldiers with the Company B, 1-128th Infantry unit will be in town for their drill weekend.

Active duty personnel, reserve, National Guard units, VFW, DAV, American Legion, all veterans, wives, children of veterans and anyone who knows a veteran are encouraged to attend.

"We're just trying to see what we can do," Aufderhar said.

Aufderhar said he hopes the seminar sparks awareness of suicide issues among the veterans.

"We just want to find out more and what, if anything, we can do about it," Aufderhar said.

There is no charge to attend the seminar.