Commentary: You don’t have to go it alone

John DeMello, Southington Veterans Committee
Phone: (860) 276-6299

Memories—good or bad—we all have them. We remember the amazing times of our youth, growing up with dreams, the music of our time, the loves we lost, and the hope of what is in our future to come. We try to forget the bad things that we either had no control over, or the wish of “I could of, I should of.”

But we dwell on these thoughts that we can never change.

Sometimes we get stuck in a lonely place in time and wonder why life is the way it is. Things in life that take place, we are told, “They happened for a reason.” I could never understand who thought of that saying but accepted it, for sometimes it gives you a relief and a belief to realize maybe so.

In speaking to veterans over the years, some believed they made it through the war and other harrowing experiences for a reason. They believed it was to help others to understand that life is so precious, that the anguish, pain and feeling like life is worthless is only a temporary problem…unless you make it into a lifetime issue without seeking a solution.

Reach out and talk to someone that can help you through your crisis. Medication, drugging, and alcohol may only mask your issue(s). If that’s the case, you might self-destruct and implode into yourself.

There is help. The Southington Veterans Committee holds a veterans coffee hour once a month at the Southington Library. Our next one is Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m., in the basement conference room. Come down and meet some amazing veterans. We all have a story to tell about our military service.

Are you a family member or a friend concerned about a veteran who is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis? The Veterans Crisis Line can help. Call 1-800-273-8255, and press 1.

Too many veterans are returning back to their community feeling isolated, stressed and unable to navigate programs and services. The Southington Veterans Committee has partnered with an amazing organization known as Resilience Grows Here (RGH). They are connecting veterans to peers, so that veterans who feel like no one understands can speak to someone who knows how it feels to be back, missing the brotherhood of service or needing to feel useful again.

RGH is promoting new approaches to deal with mental health challenges and building community and family supports.  RGH recognizes that re-entry can be challenging—not only to the veteran—but the family. For veterans in need of assistance, please call them at (860) 352-2333.

Are you dealing with a memory or memories that become part of your life and you can’t seem to escape? You don’t have to dwell on it or try to beat that demon alone. If you need help from others who understand, call the Department of Veterans Affairs Crisis Line 1-(800) 273-8255, and press 1.

For all veterans and their families in need of direction to local, state or federal resources, need help applying for military medals, military records, and more, please contact the Southington Veterans Committee Office at (860) 276-6299 or

John DeMello is a member of the Southington Veterans Committee. The committee can be reached at Town Hall, 75 Main St., by phone at (860) 276-6299, or by email at