Veterans Services Officer Receives National Attention For Helping Suicidal Vet

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Bunnell, FL - A Flagler County Veterans Services Officer is receiving attention from the national office of the American Legion following a phone call that saved a veteran's life.

“It was right about lunchtime when the call came in. I didn’t know what to make of it,” said David Lyndon. “The gentleman was hard to understand – he wasn’t making sense. I listened. I just kept listening, and let him talk.”

According to Lyndon, the caller said he was listening to news reports about the number of lives lost to COVID-19 when he began to think back to his days serving in the Vietnam War and the death counts of his fellow servicemen and women. The veteran also said that he was surprised that he was speaking to someone in Flagler County.

“I don’t know where his call initiated, or where it was routed before I answered, but I am glad he reached me,” Lydon said. “He told me he was about 20 minutes away, and I asked him if he wanted to continue the conversation in person.”

And even though he believed that he helped the veteran get past the impulse to harm himself, he was still nervous as the vet still had yet to arrive. Thankfully, he eventually showed up.

“He was late,” Lydon said. “I was worried. I called the non-emergency line to the Sheriff’s Office to have them do a well-being check, and that’s when he walked in. It was quite a relief.”

Lyndon, a 36-year Air Force Reservist and a retired New York police officer, never told the county about the lifesaving phone call, which happened in July. The county eventually learned of the call after learning about an article highlighting his actions on “The American Legion” website.

“People often just need someone to talk to, someone to listen, to get them past a rough spot,” Lydon said. “It’s important to not freeze. I had to let him know that he would be able to talk to me.”

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