Mission Possible — Veterans and Their Allies Join Forces to Reduce Veteran Suicide — The VA Pitches in $20 million

Jerry Ashton
2 min readSep 20, 2022

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To the sorrow of — but applause from — fellow competitors in a $20 million VA campaign to search out viable solutions to reduce veteran suicide, the first phase is complete and forty contestants out of 1,371 entrants have been chosen to compete for the brass (make that golden) ring.

My organization, Let’s Rethink This, was one of the 1,331 organizations and individuals who did not manage to make the cut. The “sorrowful” part applies only in that we and our fellow competitors are not among these finalists. The applause is sincere — every entrant shares in the goal of effectively reducing veteran suicide from18 per day (per day!) and will support any and every individual or organization that can reduce that.

A fair question to ask: Is it possible that one or more of us who did not reach finalist level might actually have a better answer, or can offer an important piece to that puzzle? In the 10-page Concept Paper the VA required for submission, did we use the wrong font or formatting? Did we place our answer too far to the back, or not supply enough support detail? Was our paper a victim of bad prose over great content?

Whatever the case, does this mean that 1,341 people or organizations now asked to…

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Jerry Ashton

Navy Journalist veteran, co-founder and founder of the charities RIP Medical Debt and End Veteran Debt — co-creator of Let's Rethink This and "Impact Awareness"