Are You Willing to ASIST?
On the outside, it looked like any other Navy vessel moored to a pier; haze gray and resting on crystal blue waters. Though a light shower poured out of a bright blue sky, and Sailors didn't seem to mind.
Just a few hours earlier, a Sailor and shipmate at my command in Guam died by suicide. At first, that day seemed like any other to all those who knew him. Sailors were focused on their jobs as this Sailor made his way to the armory to arm up for his watch. Everything seemed to be going like clockwork. And just like that, the clock stopped.
Growing up as a kid, suicide was the furthest thing from my mind. If at any time it did cross my mind, I knew for certain I could never go through with it. I knew even during the toughest of times, there were options for me beyond death. As a religious man, my faith has always served as a strong protective factor for me.
At the same time, I didn't want any family member, friend or Sailor around me to feel like suicide was an option, so I chose to assist with suicide prevention at my command.