RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNT)– A local man is trying his hand at helping decrease veteran suicide through social media and a nonprofit.

Joshua Kagely served in the Army for about eight years. When he left active duty, he stayed in Fort Riley doing civilian work.

Joshua found out a few people from his platoon, and other veterans, decided to end their lives.

“By looking from the outside, you’re not going to know the person is struggling all the time,” Joshua said. “Being that person with the available ear. Because if a veteran comes to you, or anyone of that matter, that is having thoughts of suicide comes to you and talks to you, they have already vetted you. They have already found confidence in you. Be the ear and listen.”

He took to social media to bring awareness to people starting Veterans Suicide Awareness, a Facebook page turned non-profit that connects veterans with people who want to help by being a listening ear.

“We’re just here to make sure our veterans are here tomorrow,” Joshua said. “That’s the biggest way behind it. It doesn’t matter what the number is. As long as there’s still one, there’s too many.”

Helping them overcome their battles, one step at a time.

“Soldiers that have been deployed and have put their selves in that harms way,” Joshua said. “I think they look for an answer when they get back, and sometimes can’t find that answer. I take it personally. If I can provide that answer to help at least one person, then all of what I have done is worth it.”

Veteran Suicide Awareness does more than help with suicide.

Through a social media post, they helped get hundreds of people to attend the funeral of a veteran on Tuesday since he didn’t have any immediate family, only distant relatives.

The page has also helped a Riley County Correctional Officer who served, get gifts this Christmas for his kids.

Joshua also uses the hashtag “22 Buddy Check” on the 22nd of every month. It’s a day that encourages everyone to check in on their veteran buddy, to see how they’re doing.

Remember, if you have someone you think we should know, use or Report It feature or our mobile app.