Major General (retired) Mark Graham lost his two sons, Jeffrey and Kevin, less than a year apart from one another. Their deaths came unexpectedly and rocked the course of his life forever. For him, happiness will never be the same. And yet, he still finds joy in his life through helping Veterans triumph in their darkest moments.

On this week’s episode of Borne the Battle, Graham takes listeners on a riveting journey through his life. He described how personal loss, depression, mental health, family, grief, healing, perseverance and his service to the nation all intersected to shape him into the person he is today.

Graham dedicated a substantial part of his life after his sons’ deaths to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. When he parented his sons, he felt that he severely underestimated the seriousness of depression. But he now iterates that mental health is real and a serious concern. Along with his wife, Carol, Graham established the Jeff and Kevin Graham Memorial Fund, among other organizations and funds, to collect donations that support the prevention of suicide and the study of depression.

And because of his experiences, Graham is currently the director of Vets4Warriors, a nonprofit that runs a 24/7 confidential peer support network for struggling Veterans, active-duty service members, national guard, reservists, and families of any of these groups. This program hires Veterans and trains them to help guide Veterans or those in the military community who may be going through a difficult time in the right direction by connecting them with resources or just being a place to lend an open ear. The service is completely free and confidential.

Call 1-855-838-8255 to get in touch with a Vets4Warriors peer

The Vets4Warriors program collaborates closely with the Veterans Crisis Line, which provides pointed assistance for Veterans in crisis.

Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 to get in touch with a Veteran Crisis Line responder

PBS’s 2022 National Memorial Day Concert will feature Graham and his wife sharing their story and how they hope to motivate those that are struggling to get help.

Graham wants everyone who hears his story to seek assistance if suffering from poor mental health or depression. He recognizes that the first step of reaching out for help can be hard. But Graham also argues that there are people who want to help, people like himself who know what going through a traumatic time in life is like. He and his team at Vets4Warriors are ready to help.

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By Calvin Wong is an intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.

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Published on May. 23, 2022

Estimated reading time is 2.7 min.

Views to date: 668

One Comment

  1. Warren F Klecan May 29, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you and God Bless you

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