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By Robert Johnson
Managing editor

It’s great to see that Fort Leonard Wood has recently welcomed a Suicide Prevention Program manager. Ernest LaMertha, a retired colonel and chaplain, will be a welcome asset in the fight to prevent suicides.

But having a manager to help prevent suicides is only one part of the fight. We all share the responsibility to stop these untimely deaths.

I remember the first encounter I ever had with a suicide. I couldn’t have been more than 12, maybe younger. A kid in another school — someone I had never met — hung himself in the boys’ bathroom. It was a closed-door topic, and my parents talked about it in hushed tones only adding to the mystery. At the time, I was sure it was foul play, because the concept of ending one’s own life was too foreign for me to even imagine. I couldn’t grasp the idea that something could be so bad that you need to end your life.

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