Veterans highlight mental health during Veterans Day Ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) Americans have freedom 365 days of the year. One day out of the year is dedicated to those who make our freedoms possible. Local veterans say the extent of a veteran's sacrifice is often unknown.

During the Veterans Day ceremony in Jacksonville, sponsored by the Onslow County Chapter of Disabled Americans Veterans, the keynote speaker emphasized the widespread impact depression and suicidal thoughts have on veterans.

Military officials say depression is often overshadowed by the perception of strength, that many people have of the military.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports nearly 1 in 4 service members show signs of a mental health conditions, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

According to the organization, military members who have served or are still serving are 5 times more likely than civilians to be diagnosed with depression.