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Local mom raising awareness of veteran suicide

Posted at 5:48 PM, May 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-28 20:48:49-04

This Memorial Day, a North Las Vegas mom wants to make sure veterans who fought a different kind of battle are remembered. 

Crystal Cochran's husband, Justin, served several tours in the U.S. Air Force. He also struggled with mental illness. 

"It's not just a physical battle. It's a mental battle as well," Cochran said. 

Justin was scheduled for another deployment in February of this year, but he never made it to Iraq.

"His mind was not at rest," Cochran said. 

Cochran lost Justin to suicide on Christmas Eve. 

Since then, Cochran and her son, Stahle, have kept Justin's memory alive. Softball jerseys made in his honor are embroidered with a P.T.S.D. and suicide awareness ribbon. 

"People don't say anything because they're afraid their loved ones are going to be mad," Cochran said. "But when they're dead it doesn't matter." 

She hopes other military families will be encouraged to seek help for veterans struggling with similar mental illnesses.