EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The wife of a former Fort Bliss soldier says the news of two confirmed mental health incidents involving Fort Bliss soldiers this week in El Paso makes her emotional as she remembers the multiple times her husband attempted to take his own life.
“It makes me angry, but it also makes me really sad, because I know how those family … I know how those families feel,” McKenzie Hill, the wife of a former Fort Bliss soldier, said as she started to cry.
On Monday, a Fort Bliss soldier was involved in a mental health SWAT situation in West El Paso and, on Wednesday, another Fort Bliss soldier was involved in a mental health incident that left him in the hospital.
McKenzie told KTSM 9 News that her husband, Aaron Hill, enlisted in the military as soon as he was old enough. He was at Fort Bliss since 2018 and was then deployed to Kuwait. Once he returned from deployment, they got married.
However, shortly after they married, she noticed a change in her husband’s mental health, saying he didn’t share much with her, but she knew he was stressed about work.
“It really affected our marriage, but because he was in the military, you know, they’re kind of trained to where they’re not allowed to talk about their feelings,” said McKenzie.
In 2020, Aaron Hill attempted suicide multiple times, the most life-threatening attempt happening in the summer of 2020.
“He started self-harming and one of those times, he went just a little too far and he started bleeding out and that’s how I found him,” she said.
KTSM 9 News reached out to Fort Bliss about soldier suicides. Officials say that there are too many service member suicides, creating a cause for concern.
“Suicide is frequently talked about across our formations. We want to end the stigma behind seeking help. We regard getting help as a sign of strength, not a weakness,” said Fort Bliss Officials in a statement sent to KTSM.
Fort Bliss officials add that their recent initiative Operation Ironclad was created with the purpose of combating sexual assault and harassment in the military, but also increasing awareness about suicide prevention, intervention and aftercare.
“Fort Bliss has engaged in significant suicide prevention and public health efforts. Suicide prevention remains a top priority,” said Fort Bliss Officials in a statement sent to KTSM.
Fort Bliss officials said that soldiers thinking of injuring themselves can call 911, the El Paso Crisis Line at 915-779-1800 or the Chaplain Line at 915-637-4265 24 hours a day for assistance.