American National Legion Commander: “Be the One”

March 27 — It’s okay… not to be well.

If you think this is a feel-good chestnut from an old self-help paperback hiding on your bookshelf, well, think again, Daniel Seehafer said Wednesday evening.

“That’s what we tell our people all the time,” he said.

Seehafer is an ordained minister and military chaplain who wears a different hat these days.

He’s also the national commander of the American Legion, and the Wisconsin native was in town to call local Legion Post 174 as part of the national anniversary tour.

The American Legion celebrated its 105th anniversary this month.

Members and families gathered at the post on Earl L. Core Road for the evening.

This family aspect, the commander said, could not have been more appropriate.

That’s because America’s collective military family – the men and women who wear the uniform, here at home and in war zones – is hurting.

According to most military sources and mental health groups outside the service, at least 20 of these soldiers die every day.

By their own hand.

Suicide.

And there are countless other suicide attempts or incidents that go unreported, because a soldier worked to make the final act look like an accident.

That’s why when Seehafer was appointed to his national post in 2023, one of his first platforms was to build on an initiative the Legion launched two years ago called “Be the One.”

The one like you.

That person in the room who might one day stop a soldier—say, your platoon mate, your spouse, or that high school friend—from committing suicide.

Just because you knew what to say.

Or, more importantly, Seehafer adds, because you knew how to listen.

“Some people call it a ‘campaign,'” the commander said, “but it goes way beyond that.”

“It’s not a slogan or a slogan. For us, it’s a mission. Because one death is one death too many.”

The Legion now holds suicide prevention workshops across the country, but the most important element, Seehafer said, comes in the form of three issues on…

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