SAN ANGELO, Texas – The most wonderful time of the year is here but for some military veterans the holiday season can be the most difficult.

“With veterans its a big pride issue. We pride ourselves on not needing help. We’re tough we can do it right?” Luis Martinez, Veteran Resource Coordinator with the Texas Workforce Commission, said. “Everyone always feels like during the holidays, I got this, I got this, but then when the holidays hit they say, man I don’t got this.”

The struggle of mental health and being separated from family affects the suicide rates in veterans as they tend to rise around this time of year.

“We take pride in San Angelo because as far as Veteran Benefits go, we can keep up with the bigger cities. The problem is we keep up the bigger cities on suicides as well and that’s not a number that we are proud of,” said Martinez.

As the giving season approaches, there’s no better time to reach out to vets as a sign of appreciation for their sacrifices and the Chamber of Commerce is doing so by hosting a cookie caper for those at Goodfellow Air Force Base.

“We are spear-heading an effort to collect 25,000 cookies for Goodfellow. These will be distributed to the airmen on base along with their families and those who work out there as well. It’s a great way for us to give back during a tough time holidays can be difficult for people when they are away from home,” said San Angelo Chamber of Commerce Marketing and Communications Director Ashlea Downing.

They have collected around 1,300 cookies and will be having Goodfellow volunteers come and pick them up for us so we can make room for more.

If you or a veteran you know is struggling please don’t hesitate to reach out to the contacts below.

  • Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-8255
  • MHMR crisis hotline (24/7 service): 325-653-5933
  • Facebook: San Angelo Veterans