LILBURN, Ga. -- During Operation Iraqi Freedom about 7,000 US servicemen and women lost their lives.
If that is a sobering number, then the next one is downright terrifying. Deaths by suicide among US veterans from roughly that same time frame are ten times that, according to government figures.
It is a crisis that has become an epidemic.
The vets desperately need our help, and one woman in Lilburn is waging her own war to do just that. But she's already paid a terrible price with the suicide of her husband.
When he served in Iraq, Melvin Burgess Jr. was more than a soldier with a big gun. He was a soldier with a big heart. But after two tours of duty, something changed.
"Short fuse, irritable, not sleeping at all or hardly at all, and weight loss," recalled Burgess. "Any symptom you could think of for post traumatic stress disorder… it was very apparent."