Twenty-two American military veterans kill themselves every day. It's an epidemic that must be addressed and corrected. Jacob Schick, Executive Director of 22Kill, joined The Glenn Beck Program on Friday to discuss what's going on and what we can do to help. With his uncanny wit and humor, Schick kept Glenn and his co-hosts in stitches.
"I'm a third-generation Marine --- Combat Marine --- and two generations before me. I just happened to be the best looking one, so I'm thankful for that," Schick said.
Glenn needed a little clarification.
"I noticed that you said you're a Marine and a Combat Marine," Glenn said. "So, is that a Marine looking down on other Marines?"
Schick was quick to reply.
"No, not at all . . . maybe," he said.
Schick's grandfather fought in World War II and Korea. His uncle fought in Vietnam. Schick volunteered, keeping with the family lineage. When his unit deployed in 2004, they were hit by an IED while operating in the Sunni Triangle in Iraq. He was severely wounded and underwent 46 operations and 23 blood transfusions.
"That's pretty remarkable, what has happened to you and how well you have healed and, you know, I think we try to take care of our people. I think the VA is a nightmare, but we at least try to save people's lives," Glenn said. "However, when guys get home and have something mentally, all we're doing is shoving pills down their throat."
Schick agreed, commenting on the mental challenges facing a wounded veteran.
"Physical pain reminds you you're alive, but mental pain tests your will to stay that way. And that is something that I learned the hard way," Schick said.
His was a long road to recovery which included 18 months in the hospital --- and beating an addiction to painkillers afterward.
"I was an addict for at least a year when I got out of the hospital until finally my wife gave me a verbal shot in the face and just told me, 'Quit being selfish. You know, you owe it to your brothers that didn't come home and those that did and still love and respect you to not only live, but live well. That's how you honor them. And you're not living well.' And she was right," Schick said.
Schick re-entered the hospital and beat his addiction in 14 days.
"It was tough. I don't know what was worse, being blown up or that. And I'm dead serious. I can say with 100 percent conviction, I know why addicts stay addicts. Because that was horrible," he said.
That's when Schick proposed a replacement for the infamous interrogation method of waterboarding.
"When I talk to generals and leaders in the military, I say, 'Listen, waterboarding takes a lot of effort, you know --- it's pretty strenuous. Let's just give them fentanyl for seven days, take it away and then question them and hold it in front of their face. They'll talk,'" Schick said.
Glenn steered the conversation toward guns and the Democrats' recent efforts to enforce gun control. Schick had plenty to say on the subject.
"Common sense has packed its crap and waved buh-bye a long time ago. It's unbelievable, unbelievable," Schick said. "Leave the Constitution alone. Let's implement common sense. You know, I have a ton of guns at my house. And it's weird because none of them have done anything today. You know, none of them cooked me breakfast. None of them mowed the lawn. It's weird, isn't it?"
Pat chimed in.
"Well, that's because they're all designed to kill, Jacob, and they're probably out killing people right now without your knowledge," he joked.
Back to the issue at hand, Glenn wanted to know how people could help stop the epidemic of veterans committing suicide.
"We have these things that we call honor rings. And they're to honor all those who served and are serving," Schick said. "This is an issue that needs to go noticed. And the fact that you are willing to help with that means the world to me because I got to tell you, man, I'm tired of going to funerals."
Information about honor rings, other 22Kill merchandise and donations is available at 22Kill.com.
"Please go and be a part and help out. This, we have to do," Glenn said.
Listen to the full segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Featured Image: Artist Steve Powers' installation 'Waterboard Thrill Ride' is seen at the Coney Island arcade August 14, 2008 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)