BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Today we honor America’s veterans for their service to this country amid the coronavirus pandemic and on the heels of a presidential election.
It’s very momentous and it’s also rewarding to know that through it all, you’re still standing and you get to celebrate it.JERMAINE WOODARD, SERVED IN US NAVY
Meet Corretta and Jermaine Woodard — two U.S. Navy Veterans.
“I enlisted in 1992,” Jermaine said. “I did 20 years.”
I joined the navy in 2002.CORRETTA WOODARD, SERVED IN US NAVY
They fell in love while deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“We actually met on my first ship in the navy,” Corretta said.
As a married couple, they served together for nearly seven years.
Corretta was honorably discharged, after serving eight years and now they have four kids.
Dual military was hard.CORRETTA WOODARD, SERVED IN US NAVY
She said due to her military background, she believes the political divide in our nation can be heavy for those who’ve served.
“We have to consider that circumstances surrounding the heightened political climate can be very triggering,” she said.
Which in turn can affect the mental health of vets.
I think in this time it’s okay to not be okay.CORRETTA WOODARD, SERVED IN US NAVY
More than 6,000 veterans die by suicide every year, according to the VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.
Washington County Coroner Roger Morris said this year he’s seen an uptick in veteran suicides.
That’s why the Woodards want to take home this message for Veteran’s Day.
“It’s an honor to be in the number with you and we don’t take it lightly that we have been able to serve,” Corretta said. “Know that you are seen and that you are appreciated.”
They also want to encourage others to do the same.
It goes a lot further than what you can see.JERMAINE WOODARD, SERVED IN US NAVY