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Dog saved veteran from suicide

Bestselling author shares story during Roseville fundraiser
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During a private reception in Roseville Friday night, retired U.S. Army Captain Luis Carlos Montalvan relayed a startling statistic: Every day in this country, 18 veterans commit suicide.

“We are going through a war in this country and it’s not in Iraq or Afghanistan,” Montalvan said, in a news release about the event. “I don’t know what’s wrong with our generals, our leaders, our citizens, but that statistic alone should be on the front pages of every newspaper.”

This figure comes from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which reports that an average of 950 suicide attempts occurred monthly in 2010 by veterans receiving treatment from the department.

Montalvan authored the book, “Until Tuesday,” about how his service dog, Tuesday, brought him back from the brink of suicide.

The New York Times bestselling author and New York City resident struggled with post traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury from his service in Iraq. Far more soldiers come home with these “invisible wounds from war” than with amputated limbs, he said.

The United States has deployed 2.2 million soldiers since the war in Iraq began in 2003, he said.

“I have news for you,” Montalvan said. “Less than 1,900 have sustained amputation. That means that those 18 veterans who are killing themselves are not doing it because of amputation, but because of (mental trauma).”

During the event, he signed copies of his book for the 70 people in attendance to raise funds for The Soldiers Project-Sacramento, a nonprofit organization that provides free psychological treatment for active-duty military and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as their family members and loved ones.

~ Sena Christian