Army Veteran Anthony Harris, a police officer at VA Bedford, is credited with saving the life of a stranger earlier this year.

He was headed home on a freeway when he noticed a man with one leg over the side of the pedestrian bridge on an overpass.

“I didn’t really believe what I was seeing,” Harris said. “I knew I had to spin back around and, sure enough, he was still on the bridge half-way over.”

Harris pulled onto the median and attempted contact, hoping to pull the man’s attention away from jumping.

I said, let’s talk

“He just looked at me and stood there,” he added. “He ended up nodding his head and jumped down, agreeing to talk to me.”

Harris believes his own military service, reinforced by training with VA, made him well equipped to help people. He kept the man talking until first responders arrived to connect him to help and support.

“When someone needs help, you help them,” Harris said. “Whether on duty or off duty, we serve Veterans, but I think it reinforces that we serve the community as a whole.”

Police officer Harris said it’s common for life’s challenges to build up and lead to intense feelings. His advice for those who see someone suffering?

“Reach out,” he advised. “Engage in a conversation, see where they’re at. Don’t be afraid to ask the question. No one needs to go through hard stuff alone, but it can be hard to reach out and ask for help. Show you care and they matter.”

Harris served in the Army National Guard as a military policeman from 2005 to 2010.

Crisis line information

If you’re a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with VA. Many of them are Veterans themselves. This free support is confidential and available every day, 24/7, and serves all Veterans, all service members – including National Guard and Reserve – and their family members and friends.

Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online. No matter what you’re experiencing, there is support for getting your life back on track.

By Kat Bailey is chief public affairs officer at VA Bedford

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Published on Aug. 8, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.8 min.

Views to date: 440


  1. Daniel Clifford Cunningham August 20, 2021 at 6:03 pm

    you did not save a life. You interfered in this man’s personal drama and stopped a scenario that might have ended with him dying. If he were about to fall off the bridge you would have saved his life. You do not know if he is going to kill himself tomorrow. You do not know if his life from here on until he dies will be worth the trouble. He had made a determination that it was not worth going on. If you had committed now to being responsible for helping to get this man’s life in order so that he is glad to be alive an successful at living then it would be a good thing. If he is destined to go in misery and suffering with no purpose then all you have done was to interfere.
    Twenty veterans die of suicide every day – because the country and the VA have failed to take care of helping us to get on track with what to do make it now in this country. And many more die every day because of the carelessness and neglect and indifference inside the VA.

  2. AlaskanAngel August 13, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    WTG and TYVM!!

  3. Melanie Clark August 12, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    You were given an opportunity to serve and you took it. Thank you.

  4. Ronald Wallenberg August 12, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you for being alert and aware of your surroundings. Thank you for taking immediate action and for saving a life.

    Thank you for this, Officer Harris!

    Ron Wallenberg
    Army – 1st Infantry

  5. James R Sherman August 8, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Anthony Harris you were in the right place at the right time! A trained professional on the scene when you were needed the most. A force MUCH larger than me or you put you there and you answered the call. Congratulations for saving a man’s life!!!

  6. James August 8, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Never defund heroes, Never!

Comments are closed.

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