Local organization creates video to bring awareness to veterans combating suicide, other issues

ROANOKE, Va. – A viral video lip sync challenge is making its way around our area and with a purpose.

The nonprofit organization Family Readiness and Military Ease is sending a message, and reminding the community about the many veterans in our area who need our help combating suicidal thoughts.

Joseph Scruggs served 4 1/2 years in Iraq. He says without the support of Family Readiness and Military Ease, or FRAME, he's not sure where he would be.

“If you don’t have a good support system, it makes it a lot harder,” said Scruggs.

FRAME offers 24/7 support services to veterans and their families in the Roanoke Valley, including veterans experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Some of those veterans helped create the viral video to bring awareness to the personal struggles a lot of them share.  

“This video took them to places they have tried really hard to escape from. I reopened memories they haven't thought about in a long time. They were more than willing to get the message out and each of those people in all of those scenes were very hard from them to do,” said .Rochelle Sibitzky, founder of Family Readiness and Military Ease.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs says about two dozen veterans a day take their own lives.

“I was almost a statistic of that 22 a day. You know 22 veterans a day commit suicide more than the active duty so it meant a lot to be in the video and bring awareness to this problem,” Scruggs said.

That statistic alone prompted FRAME’S to create the video to bring further awareness and remind veterans they are not alone. 

 “You have support and people who want to be there for you and help you. All you have to do is come talk to us and we will always listen,” Scruggs said.