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Michael Mantenuto Dead; What We Know About US Veteran Suicide Cases

Update Date: Apr 28, 2017 10:15 PM EDT

Michael Mantenuto, who portrayed a real-life hockey player in Disney's "Miracle," passed away at the age of 35. Read on for more details about his suspected suicide.

Actor Passes Away From Suicide

Michael Mantenuto was declared dead due to a self-inflicted gunshot. People reported that the police were already too late when they arrived at the scene. They found his body inside his vehicle at Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, Washington.

Prior to his death, Michael Mantenuto had a short yet memorable acting career. His first movie made its mark in Hollywood when he showcased Jack O'Callahan's Olympics journey for the official US sports team in 1980. He then starred in the 2008 movie "Surfer, Dude" alongside Matthew McConaughey.

Titled as "Miracle," it also starred Kurt Russel as the group's head coach. Callahan got injured during a practice but he later joins the team as the resident defenseman. However, he became the key in achieving a goal for the US against their Russian opponent.

Actor Was In The US Army

However, Michael Mantenuto is more than a budding actor. He enlisted himself in the US Army, as part of the Special Forces unit.

The former actor was an active leader in the community and the army as well. He worked on several projects such as hockey lessons for the youth and a substance abuse program.

Alarming Suicide Rate Among US Army Veterans

US Army specialist, Samatha Brinegar expressed her condolences for his family on Facebook. She talked about how the late actor inspired everyone. She added, “In life, you find those that inspire you and mentor you. Those that take the time to impact lives of others.”

Michael Mantenuto's death is just one of the latest cases of an apparent suicide among those who have worked in the military. Fortunately, the US government is now looking for ways on improving the current health care for veterans and their mental health.

US News reported that Deputy Secretary Scott Blackburn for the Veterans Affairs department shared the new updates last week. According to him, telemedicine might be the key in reaching out members who are located in remote places. This might help in tweaking the restriction of providing medicines outside the country.

Statistics show that at least 20 veterans commit suicide every day. He says that three out of the only VA system members have seen a mental health provider. He said, "If we as a country are serious about addressing this issue, we need to attack it from all angles and we need to work together.

Michael Mantenuto is survived by his family, including his wife and two young children. Stay tuned for more updates.

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