Mom advocates for suicide awareness documentary

Wendy Galloway is sharing the story of her son's death in effort to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

Posted: Mar 27, 2018 12:21 PM
Updated: Mar 28, 2018 9:12 AM

Wendy Galloway describes her son as someone who never met a stranger and had big dreams of a military career.


"He was definitely his own person, he would march to the beat of his own drum," said Wendy Galloway.

Galloway holds on tight to the memories she has of her 19-year-old son, Aaron. 


"He loved the military history, he volunteered at the veterans museum," said Galloway.

After high school graduation, Aaron went to basic training for the Army National Guard.

But despite achieving one of his dreams, Aaron dealt with personal struggles. 

"He never thought he was good enough, even when I would talk to him about how amazing it was completing basic training and how hard it is to do and not everybody makes it and how important that was, he just never gave himself any credit," said Galloway.

In 2016, Aaron came home from a drill weekend. 

His mom was busy preparing for the week ahead and in a matter of minutes, the 19-year-old took his life just rooms away from his mom. 

"On July 10th, 2016, he died by suicide. There were times he would say, that he didn't want to be here but he would also say 'I would never do that mom because I'm here for you,'" said Galloway.

In years leading up to 2016, Aaron did see a professional counselor before his family moved to Alabama. 

" We would go back and forth on if he should go and see a counselor out here but I just didn't get it taken care of," said Galloway.

Almost two years after her son's death, Wendy has turned her grief into raising awareness for mental health and suicide, hoping to help others. 

Aaron is far from the first member of the military to take his own life. 

In 2016, USA today reported according to the Pentagon, 265 active-duty service-members killed themselves in 2015.

"I even remember saying is 'Aaron made the choice' and the more I've learned and become educated, people don't make that choice consciously, it's an extreme situation of pain and suffering, they need to see there are other options and get the help they need," explained Wendy.

It was when Wendy saw information about the documentary "Suicide: The Ripple Effect" that she knew she wanted to get involved.

"I make it a point to tell people how my son died, it does need to be talked about, that's the only way it's going to change," said Galloway.

The documentary provides an outlet for service members, veterans and their families to talk about issues like depression and where they can find help.

The movie tells the story of Kevin Hines, who attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge and chronicles his work as a mental health advocate since that time. 

Wendy hopes the audience learns one thing from the screening,  "there is hope, keep reaching out for help and dont give up," added Galloway.

The documentary will be screened Tuesday April, 10th at 7:30 p.m. at the Huntsville 10, 1359 Old Monrovia Road in Huntsville.

Tickets will not be sold at the theatre but you can buy tickets online at https://gathr.us/screening/22509

The documentary will be screened nationwide. 

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