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Listen December 13, 2012 – 9pm (EST) – LIVE On the Internet to 34+ Year Army Veteran – Major General Mark Graham (Retired) and Carol Graham – Gold Star Parents – Tireless champions of military and civilian efforts to promote mental health and suicide-prevention awareness, and to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care. Same Mission….Different Uniform
In Loving Memory of
The Courage To Live: Helping suicidal people live one day at a time
Listen December 13, 2012 – 9pm (EST) – LIVE On the Internet to 35+ Year Army Veteran – Major General Mark Graham (Retired) and Carol Graham – Gold Star Parents – Tireless champions of military and civilian efforts to promote mental health and suicide-prevention awareness, and to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care
Mark A. Graham Major General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Same Mission….Different Uniform!
About MG (r) Mark Graham
Major General Mark Graham retired from the US Army on August 1, 2012 after almost thirty-five years of service. His final position was as the Director (G-3/5/7) U.S. Army Forces Command since Sept. 18, 2009. In this position, he oversaw the plans, operations and training for Army forces (active and reserve component) stationed in the Continental United States and ensured conventional forces were prepared for worldwide deployment and combat.
Major General Graham and his wife, Carol, are tireless champions of military and civilian efforts to promote mental health and suicide-prevention awareness, and to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care. To honor the memory of their two sons, 2LT Jeff Graham who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in February 2004, and their son Kevin a Senior Army ROTC cadet who died by suicide in June 2003 while studying to be an Army Doctor at the University of Kentucky, the Grahams established the Jeffrey C. and
Kevin A. Graham Memorial Fund to provide the “Question, Persuade, Refer” suicide prevention program at the University of Kentucky.
The Grahams were instrumental in establishing the Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Memorial Endowed Lectureship in Psychology for the study of depression and suicide prevention at Cameron University, in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Additionally, they support the ongoing efforts of the Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership, Colorado Springs, Colorado (El Paso County), through the “Jeff and Kevin Graham Memorial Crisis Hotline” and “Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Support Services”.
Major General Graham was commissioned a second lieutenant of Field Artillery in December 1977 at Murray State University, Kentucky. Spanning almost 35 years, Major General Graham served in several key command and staff positions in the United States, Germany and Korea.
Past assignments include Field Artillery Battalion Command at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Brigade Command in California where he was the first Active-Duty Army Colonel to command a National Guard brigade in peacetime; Commander of the Battlefield Coordination Detachment, Osan, Korea then as the Executive Officer to the U.S. Forces Korea Commander; Chief of Staff and later Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Field Artillery Center and Fort Sill; the Deputy Commanding General of 5th U.S. Army/Army North where he supported evacuation and relief operations following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; then as the Commanding General of Fort Carson, Colorado and Division West of First US Army.
In addition to his Bachelor’s degree in political science, Major General Graham holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University and a Master of Science in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National War College.
Major General Graham’s numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Humanitarian Service Medal.
2011 Community Healing
Adolescent Depression and
Suicide (CHADS) Champions
2010 American Foundation for
Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
Lifesaver Award for Public
2009 Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates nominated Major
General Graham for Time
magazine’s 100 most influential
2009 Tragedy Assistance
Program for Survivors (TAPS)
Honor Guard Leadership Award
2009 SPARK (Suicide
Recognition in Kentucky) Award
2009 Shining Lights of Hope
Award, presented by the Carson
J. Spencer Foundation
2009 Distinguished Alumni
Award, Oklahoma City
2008 Heroes of Mental Health
Award presented by the Pikes
Peak Behavior Health Group
2008 Distinguished Alumnus,
Murray State University
2007 Wall of Fame
Distinguished Alumni, Belleville
Township High School East
Army ROTC Distinguished
Alumni Award, Murray State
Member University of Kentucky
Member Cameron University
(Lawton, OK) Foundation
About Carol Graham:
Carol Graham is the wife of Major General (Retired) Mark A. Graham, US Army. In the last nine years Carol has tragically lost both of her sons. Her youngest son Kevin, a University of Kentucky senior Army ROTC scholarship cadet, was studying to be an Army doctor when he died by suicide on June 21, 2003. Kevin was being treated for depression but had stopped taking his medication.
Carol’s oldest son Jeffrey was a scholarship student that graduated from the University of Kentucky in May 2003 with a degree in civil engineering, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the US Army as an Armor officer. Although the Army offered Jeff a position in a non-deploying unit because of the death of his younger brother, Jeff said he needed to be with soldiers and wanted to serve his country. Jeff was killed while leading his platoon on a dismounted patrol in Khaldiyah, Iraq on 19 February 2004. Jeff spotted an IED taped to a guardrail and warned his platoon moments before it exploded.
Following the death of Kevin, Carol and her husband, using the Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) program, established the Kevin A. Graham Memorial Fund at the University of Kentucky to raise awareness to the signs of depression and prevent suicide. When Jeff was killed in Iraq the fund was endowed and renamed the Jeffrey C. and Kevin A. Graham Memorial Fund.
The Grahams in partnership with UK alumni also established the Second Lieutenant Jeffrey C. Graham Memorial Scholarship Program for engineering students. Soon after their only surviving child, Melanie, enrolled at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma they realized that Cameron did not have a suicide prevention program. Carol worked along with her husband and university leaders to establish the Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Memorial Endowed Lectureship in Psychology for the study of depression and suicide prevention.
In 2009 Carol Graham was instrumental in establishing the ‘Jeff and Kevin Graham’ El Paso County/Colorado Springs Crisis Hotline which is part of the national suicide prevention hotline network. The newly established Jeff and Kevin Graham Support Services program in Colorado Springs, Colorado offers those that have either considered or attempted suicide a safe place to talk and receive help without the fear of being judged.
Carol has been instrumental in raising awareness for depression and suicide prevention for the families and Soldiers/Service Members at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Fort Carson, Colorado, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, at several US Marine Corps bases and across the nation.
Carol is now nationally recognized for her efforts in suicide prevention and mental health. Carol has received numerous awards and other recognition to include:
Governor’s Commendation (State of Oklahoma) for Suicide Prevention and Depression Awareness in support of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Program in July 2005, President of the United States ‘Call to Service’ Award, Aug 2009, received the Texas Governor’s “Yellow Rose of Texas” award. US Army Forces Command’s Commander’s Award, Aug 2009 and again in 2012, US Forces Command Well Being Award, Aug 2009, Secretary of the Army Public Service Award, Aug 2009, recipient of the 2009 SPARK (Suicide Prevention Advocacy Recognition in Kentucky) Award, the 2009 Shining Lights of Hope Award, presented by the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, in Sept 2009, and several others.
Carol speaks at conferences, seminars and workshops across the country to help understand depression as well as to help prevent suicide, survive grief, and to offer hope. Among her many engagements include: keynote speaker at the 2006 Fort Sam Houston Annual Green Conference (for military spouses), the 2007 National Military Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2007 Tennessee State Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2007 Suicide Prevention Action Network (Span-USA) Survivor Panel, the 2008 Nevada State Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2008 AUSA National Guard Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2008 Department of Defense (DoD)/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Mental Health Conference, the Colorado Springs Faith Based Education Conference for Wounded Service Members, the 2009 Spring TRADOC Commanders Conference, the 2009 Carson J. Spencer Foundation Annual Dinner, the 2009 Kentucky State Suicide Prevention Conference, the 2010 State of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Conference, 2011 Missouri State Annual Suicide Prevention Conference, multiple USMC Heroes and Healthy Family events speaking to over 8,000 Marines and Sailors, the Baystate Medical Center State Psychiatric Conference in Holyoke, Massachusetts, 2012 Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, Illinois, the 2012 Inaugural US Congressional Spouses Group for Suicide Prevention, the Army Suicide Prevention Stand Down speaker at TRADOC HQ (Fort Eustis, VA), Fort Gordon (Georgia), and Fort Campbell (Kentucky), the Fayetteville and Fort Bragg North Carolina 2012 Forward March Conference, and the 2012 North Carolina NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Annual Conference.
She is an advocate for wounded Service members and their Families as she continues to speak out to raise awareness to the dangers of untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the “Invisible Wounds of War”.
Carol was appointed to the national board of directors of the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA) 2006-2009. She served on the Colorado Springs, Colorado suicide prevention board from 2007 – 2009 while living in Colorado. She currently serves as a member of the Public Policy Committee of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) since their merger with SPAN USA. As a result of her ongoing contributions she is also a member of the University of Kentucky Fellows Society and the Cameron University Foundation.
SEE PHOTOS BELOW:
Major General (R) & Mrs. Mark Graham were the guest speakers at a special reception November 15, 2012 at Briarhurst Manor in Manitou Springs, Colorado to introduce new support services named in honor of their two sons, Lt Jeffrey Graham and Senior ROTC Cadet Kevin Graham
The founders, board members, staff, and volunteers of the Suicide Prevention Partnership of the Pikes Peak Region Dedicated the Support Services program in El Paso County Colorado in memory of Lt Jeffrey Graham and Senior ROTC Cadet Kevin Graham.
Kevin suffered from depression and took his own life on June 21, 2003 after discontinuing use of his medication. Jeffrey was killed in action Feb 19, 2004 in Khaldiyah, Iraq.
MG Graham was the Commander of Ft Carson when I interviewed him and Carol a few years ago.
Now after 31 years of service he is retired. They are dedicated to helping as many men and women in the military and veterans preventing suicides, helping with PTSD and TBI. It is an Honor and a duty to help them.
Below are some photos from the Jeffrey and Kevin Graham Support Services and Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Event www.pikespeaksuicideprevention.org
My apologies that some of the photos did not come out good. I was surprised looking at the photos with me in it. My recent shoulder and third surgery in a year shows some. I promise I will look better soon:)
Our Mission goes on.
Carol Graham – Thank you for Inviting me. It was great seeing you and Mark again.
Me with Chaplain Steve Satterfield. Thank You Steve for bringing me there and home. It was great being with you in Afghanistan in 2010. Welcome Home!!!
Kelly DeBardelaben –
Thank you Kelly for all your Support of troops and veterans here in Colorado Springs.
Thank You MG (R) Mark and Carol Graham. We will do all we can to Help!
Carol on the left listening to her husband.
MG (R) Mark Graham
MG (R) Mark Graham on the left and Carol Graham
MG (R) Mark Graham speaking
Teenagers emotionally Thanking Mark and Carol
My apologies again for some of the photos not coming out good.
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