Program brings together military units for mental health support

CHARLOTTE — U.S. flags at half-staff on Memorial Day to honor the millions of men and women who died while serving the country.

“It’s Memorial Day,” U.S. Army veteran Nick Armendariz said. “It’s kind of a sober day. You know, it’s time to reflect, time to honor those buddies that we’ve lost. We all grieve in our own way. I live every day for those buddies we had lost.”

Armendariz, who served from 2006 to 2012, said three soldiers were killed in action in his unit.

[Memorial Day: Thousands across the Carolinas pay tribute to those lost]

“We’ve had several suicides to date and since the Operation Resiliency retreat in 2019, I can tell you that having reestablished that bond, we haven’t had any suicides since then,” he said.

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Armendariz, of Charlotte, was part of the first group to go through Operation Resiliency in 2019.

The Independence Fund operates the program that brings military units together from across the country.

>> In the video at the top of this webpage, learn more about Operation Resiliency and its impact on veterans.

If you’re a veteran in crisis or are concerned about one, please call the Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255.