Fiction student Colby Buzzell has an amazing essay, “Thank You For Being Expendable,” in today’s New York Times.
YEARS after I first returned from Iraq and started having thoughts and visions of killing myself, I’d call the Department of Veterans Affairs. They always put me on hold.
First, an automated message would greet me to let me know there was an unusually long wait because of the large number of incoming calls. Then a recorded message played on a constant loop: “Welcome to the Department of Veterans Affairs … The V.A. is here to serve you … If this is a mental health emergency or you are thinking about committing suicide, please hang up and call 911 … If you are having thoughts of hurting others or want to talk to a mental health professional hang up and dial the Veterans Crisis Line … ”
Read the full essay here.