DIRECTV Releases Video Series Aimed to Raise Awareness About Military and Veteran Suicide

DIRECTV Releases Video Series Aimed to Raise Awareness About Military and Veteran Suicide

November is National Military and Veteran Families month. Throughout the month, veterans and their families will be recognized for their service in varying ways including on Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and the Marine Corps Birthday on Nov. 10.

DIRECTV’s Suicide Awareness Veterans Engaged (S.A.V.E.) program is using the month to provide additional focus on the critical suicide rate in the military and veteran community. By discussing how the importance of family, networks, peer groups, and a sense of community delivers support to veterans, the goal is to prevent and slow the veteran suicide rate.

This dire issue is not one that will resolve on its own, and the data is trending in the wrong direction.

A new study from America’s Warrior Partnership and DOD, suggests the suicide rate is actually higher than previously reported by VA and other military/veteran suicide tracking sources, with 24  suicides per day among the veteran community (25% more than reported).

Despite these discouraging numbers, there are many people, groups, agencies and organizations with both civilians and servicemembers that are poised to help.


S.A.V.E. is a DIRECTV initiative that is comprised of Chief Sales & Service Officer/Marine Corps Veteran, Mike Wittrock; retired DIRECTV AVP/Retired Marine, Jeff Cole, and other engaged veterans and veteran experts. The group meets to raise awareness while discussing tools and resources to halt this alarming crisis.

The Purpose of S.A.V.E.

To tackle the complex set of at-risk factors that veteran’s face, S.A.V.E. aims to restore the belonginess factor and sense of community felt during military service.

The purpose of S.A.V.E. is to:

  • Provide a safe, inclusive environment for all veterans
  • Raise awareness of at-risk factors that affect veterans
  • Support solutions for veterans in areas of need
  • Improve the lives of all veterans, of all eras

S.A.V.E. is designed and committed to:

  • spreading awareness,
  • stimulate discussion
  • encourage support for suicide prevention in the Military community

This year to raise awareness and honor veterans during November, S.A.V.E. is presenting a series of videos that discuss key topics of suicide awareness and prevention, while also highlighting the magnificent work being done by these organizations to save lives and prevent suicide in the military and veteran community.

‘Rolling Thunder’ 2023

Throughout the month, a series of video segments will highlight key organizations and share the insight of subject matter experts that are in the trenches each day. The videos cover serious topics, including potential causes of veteran suicide, early indicators, potential intervention opportunities and support systems. New videos will be added throughout the month

Veterans Day Kickoff with Mike Wittrock

DIRECTV Suicide Awareness Veterans Engaged (S.A.V.E.) is a Suicide Awareness and Prevention program focused on the military and veteran community.

Overview Of Military And Veteran Suicide Data With Jeff Cole

Join Jeff from the Veterans@DIRECTV employee group in understanding some underlying data and intricacies for the complex challenge of suicide in the military and Veterans community, and in highlighting the importance of connectivity, belonginess, and support mechanisms that include family, friends, peers, and interested and giving individuals, and the nation as a whole.

Sergio Cuevas Discusses the Merging Vets and Players Organization and Their Mission

Sergio Cuevas, Los Angeles Program Manager, of Merging Vets and Players discusses the MVP mission, challenges, and insights into the life-saving work Merging Vets and Players engages in every single day.

Tess Banko From U.S. Vets West Los Angeles Discusses Their Amazing Work With Veterans

Meet Tess Banko, U.S.VETS West Los Angeles Project Director and The Veterans Collective Community Development Director. She highlights the challenges faced by both LAC and USV, and the amazing work being done to overcome challenging obstacles and barriers to progress in mitigating and addressing suicide, and present solutions that are removing those obstacles and barriers. 

The Mission Continues’ Miguel Vazquez Discusses Connecting Veterans With Communities

Miguel Vazquez, Mission Leader, shares the challenging work The Mission Continues performs each and every day. 

Military Basketball Association Commissioner Mike Meyers Talks Suicide Awareness

Mike Meyers, Commissioner of the Military Basketball Association (MBA), shares insights and activities of this new military league and the power of sports in suicide awareness and prevention. Learn more about DIRECTV’s connection with the MBA. 

Jeff Cole Wraps Up The 2023 DIRECTV Save Program, Highlighting Ways To Make A Positive Impact

We wrap up the 2023 DIRECTV SAVE Program Series with a summary of the organizations included, how to support and ways to get immediate support with Veterans Crisis Line by dialing 988.


Mike Wittrock


Chief Sales & Service Officer, Marine Corps Veteran, DIRECTV

“We Care, We Challenge, We Deliver”

Jeff Cole

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Marine Corps Reserve Retired, Former DIRECTV


Mission: Enable dialogue, engagement, and responsiveness to remove barriers, mitigate at-risk factors, drive knowledge and understanding of military experiences and impacts for DIRECTV Veteran Employees AND our national military veteran community.

Sergio Cuevas

Los Angeles Program Manager, Merging Vets and Players

Merging Vets and Players

Mission: MVP empowers combat veterans and former professional athletes by connecting them after the uniform comes off; providing them with a new team to assist with transition, promote personal development, and show them they are never alone.

Miguel Vazquez

Mission Leader, The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues

Mission: Connect veterans with under-resourced communities. The Mission Continues’ vision is for all veterans with a desire to continue their service to be part of a nationwide movement to transform communities. Veterans are at the center of everything we do.

Tess Banko

U.S.VETS West Los Angeles Project Director and The Veterans Collective Community Development Director


Mission: Our mission is the successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support.

Los Angeles Veterans Collective (via USC Military Initiatives)

Mission: The mission of our military and veterans initiatives is to serve those who served, are serving, or will serve.

Mike Meyers


Commissioner, MBA

Military Basketball Association (MBA)

Mission: Our mission is “Life Through Basketball” as we seek to offer positive opportunities to those who serve and continue to serve our Great Nation.


Explore a past S.A.V.E. panel featuring some of the same esteemed guests.

Additional Resources

Find even more support with the following organizations.

Veterans Crisis Line

Military OneSource


Veterans Administration / Veterans Affairs