VetStory: RIP Anthony Bourdain

Phil Briggs
June 08, 2018 - 2:21 pm

Erik Slavin / Courtesy of Stars and Stripes, All Rights Reserved

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The news of Anthony Bourdain's death from suicide (and earlier this week fashion designer Kate Spade) feels like a real gut punch.  Again we lost people who were loved, admired and seemed to have everything to live for.  As for Bourdain, he was known to enjoy knocking back a few drinks and some exotic foods with service members.

Stars and Stripes reported when he visited Camp Casey, South Korea back in 2006, Bourdain asked, “What happens when you’re an American, you’re in the military and you’re confronted with kimchee? That’s interesting.”

It's that wry sense of humor that made shows like  “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” an award winning program and made him a fan favorite on Travel Channel and CNN.

While celebrity suicides make headlines, there are far too many veteran suicides that do not.

"Their deaths highlight the fact that all of us face life struggles. No matter how bright our public persona may appear, many of us suffer deeply in silence," said Dr Shauna Springer, Senior Director of Suicide Prevention and Postvention, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). "Unseen isolation and pain can be addressed when we break through stigma that prevents many from seeking help."

So, how do we help our brothers and sisters?

Springer explained, "Suicide is preventable and treatment works.  When we open up to others we trust, we can overcome desperate feelings of hopelessness. Help is available for you and your loved ones through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,  1-800-273-8255."

We wanted to learn more about things we can do-  so on this episode of VetStory we reached out to three guests who have real experience:

  • Navy veteran and Connecting Vets Reporter, Jonathan Kaupanger, who lost his brother to suicide.
  • Kim Ruocco, a psychologist and active contributor to suicide prevention efforts in civilian as well as military organizations and the the surviving widow of Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco, who died by suicide in 2005. 
  • Shawn Jones, Outreach Director, Stop Soldier Suicide

On this podcast you'll hear advice on how to help a friend in need, how to help a suicide family survivor, and what resources are available that can help you today.

For more information on Stop Soldier Suicide click here .

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

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