Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo was killed in Iraq while serving with the Marines 10 years ago, though his death was just the beginning of an odyssey for his family.
His brother, Brian Arredondo, took his own life seven years later after Corporal Arredondo’s death.
Corporal Arredono and Brian’s parents, Carlos and Melida Arredondo, joined NECN to discuss their work.
The Arredondo family says Corporal Arredondo’s death contributed to the loss of their other son’s life.
“Losing his brother was the worst thing that happened to him,” Carlos Arredondo said.
The Arredondo’s say one of their goals is to improve mental health resources for people who are struggling.
“Brian wasn’t a kid anymore. He was 24 when he died. The whole family had been trying to help him and he was having issues that involved being in front of a court. Because he was an adult and his mother, Carlos and myself were parents, we couldn’t do anything,” Melida Arredondo added.
The Arredondo’s say they are trying to leverage Carlos’ recognition as a hero of the Boston Marathon bombings to help bring awareness to the anti-war activism and suicide prevention work they are passionate about.
On September 27, there is a Samaritans 5K for suicide prevention in Brighton, Massachusetts. In addition, Carlos Arredondo is challenging Massachusetts residents to participate in an ice bucket challenge for suicide prevention. More info here.