KILLEEN, Texas — The Defense Department has reported an increase in suicide among active duty soldiers. A veteran in Killeen is trying to change that.

Soldier 4theLord, a retired former Army veteran, legally changed his name in 2004. He spent 31 years working as a chaplain assistant.

He says he has a soft spot for soldiers dealing with issues.

"I don’t want anybody to have to go through the issues I had to deal with inside the military and outside the military,” said 4theLord.

4theLord said he understands one of the biggest threats veterans face.

"One of the things I learned about being a chaplain assistant is that you learn things behind the door and suicide is a big issue," said Soldier 4theLord.

He started the Soldiers In Need Foundation, a non-profit organization that combats military suicide attempts.

"I spent my money on properties," 4theLord said. "I got four commercial buildings. I got a 35-passenger bus. I got concession trailer. I got a lot of things. I would like to see that used as awareness tools."

But what he doesn’t have is help. 

According to the Defense Department, 138 active duty soldiers died by suicide in 2018. 

4theLord said he is looking for mental health professionals and volunteers to help get the organization off the ground.

"I want to put the people that are more knowledgeable and educated into the program,”

He said the more people involved means more lives saved.

"If you see a person smile and they came in with a sad face, then that's your gratitude," 4theLord said. “I’m not going to ask you to show up every day and do this and that. I would like to have a meeting of the minds."

if you would like to help 4theLord, he can be reached at 254-338-8447.

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