Father wants to use his pain to prevent other veterans from committing suicide

Posted at 6:03 PM, Dec 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-01 18:03:44-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - A Virginia Beach father is taking action to prevent veterans from committing suicide.

The pain of losing his son is sometimes unbearable for Bill Ciccone.

"I'm not mad at him. If I could say anything to him I would just tell him that I love him and give them a hug," said Ciccone.

His son, James committed suicide in November 2012 after serving in the military for about four years.

"It's a living hell because there's a bunch of unanswered questions,” said Ciccone.

Ciccone said his son suffered from depression, PTSD and alcohol abuse before he killed himself.

That’s why Ciccone's mission is now to prevent more veterans from taking the path that James did.

He created a video near his son's grave which memorializes James and he talks about the importance of helping other veterans who are struggling.

David Lopez said he served in Iraq with James and the two were friends.

Lopez admits he too struggles with PTSD and considered suicide.

"I started to feel like I was a burden on everyone," said Lopez. "It got to a point where I felt like it would be easier for me to kill myself.”

Lopez got help and now he and James' father took action and are part of the veteran support group Spartyka Foundation.

They are part of a special section of the foundation called End 22. Their mission is to prevent more veterans from committing suicide.

"I want others to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no reason to end your life when you get back. We went to war, we made it back, why die now,” said Lopez.

They want to share their experiences in hopes of helping others.

"I wasn't able to do it for my own son, maybe I could do it for somebody else," said Ciccone.

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