A new road sign in Whitley County is raising awareness about an important issue involving veterans.
The Kentucky Department of Highways District 11 office recently installed signs in Whitley County displaying ‘Veterans Suicide Memorial Mile’ on I-75 at mile points 22-23 designated by the 2020 General Assembly.
“It is only appropriate that we as a Commonwealth pay respect to the men and women who have served our country. Many of these soldiers are returning home from combat with not only physical but psychological ailments, leading to mental illness and at times suicide,” noted 82nd Rep. Regina Huff.
“Suicide is a tragedy that affects all Americans, but studies show that active-duty members and veterans have a much higher rate of suicide. These brave men and women deserved to be remembered for all the sacrifices they made.”
On average 22 veterans die by suicide every day, and more than 7,000 annually, according to www.veteranssuicideawareness.org.
In 2017, there were 107 veteran suicides in Kentucky, and 744 total suicides, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet alerts motorists to look for newly installed honorary roadside signs recognizing community accomplishments and individuals who have improved the lives of fellow Kentuckians.
“Ceremonially naming roads and bridges is a popular tradition Kentuckians take pride in to recognize people and milestones that bring respect to the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Jim Gray.
A total of 59 honorary names were designated statewide and will appear on 13 bridges, 29 roads and 16 honorary locations. Signage will remain posted indefinitely unless otherwise specified in House Joint Resolution 105.