City of Covington Conducts Veterans Suicide Awareness Event; Issues Support for Veterans & Service Members Suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

COVINGTON, KY – On Monday, June 5, 2017, the City of Covington will conduct the Veterans Suicide Awareness event, planting 660 American flags as representation of the number of veterans who commit suicide each month. The event will take place at the Northern Kentucky Police Memorial located at the foot of the Suspension Bridge from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The issue of veteran suicide carries immense weight for the City of Covington, as last year, Matt Winkler, a decorated veteran and Covington Mayoral candidate, committed suicide with reasons attributed to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The event features a speech from keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Honorable Thomas Massie; and remarks from Debbie Winkler, mother of Matt Winkler; Zach McGuffey, a Marine Corps Infantry veteran and President and Founder of the nonprofit organization, 22 Until Valhalla; and Mayor Joseph U. Meyer.

Additionally, the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood will sing the national anthem, the Covington Police Department Honor Guard will present the nation’s colors and the Kenton County Sheriff Charles Korzenborn will play taps.

Special thanks goes to the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary for providing the 660 flags; to the Holmes High School Jr. Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for preparing the flags; and to Howard Berry for his inspirational leadership and in starting the “Flags for the Forgotten” initiative. The event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.

Planted at the foot of the Suspension Bridge, the flags will be left in place from June 5 through July 5, 2017, enveloping both D-Day and Independence Day.

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer stated, “The City recognizes the human cost of PTSD and the difficulties so many veterans have re-acclimating to civilian life.

“We’re calling upon community leaders, colleagues, friends and family members to support and encourage Veterans and Service members who may be going through a difficult time that we’re here for each other.”

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the Covington Board of Commissioners authorized a resolution declaring June 5 through July 5, 2017, as Veterans Suicide Awareness Month throughout the City of Covington. The resolution was implemented in efforts to create awareness for those suffering with PTSD and the number of those affected by the disorder.

PTSD is disorder that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a life-threatening event, such as combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, assault and/or other various traumatic situations. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will have PTSD, many of which are not under that person's control.

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD affects roughly 8 million adults during a given year.

For more information regarding PTSD and its effects, click here.