Thomas Ciulla was far from the only active-duty service member or military veteran to complete suicide this year in El Paso County. He wasn’t even the only one to do so in August. Three ended their lives that month, all in Fountain.

Their deaths and others’ underscore the growing toll that suicides take locally among military members and veterans.

El Paso County is home to five military installations that employ roughly 38,000 active-duty personnel. Another 94,000 veterans live here as well, according to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics’ fiscal year 2021 report. Those significant populations have caused local suicide prevention agencies to train the spotlight on helping armed forces members.