TODAY | February 07, 2013
>>> we are back now at 7:50 in an alarming new statistic. an average of 22 active u.s. soldiers and veterans are committing suicide every day, that's nearly double the rate of civilians.
>> a young boy in alabama is hoping to save lives with a simple message. affiliate waff in huntsville with the story.
>> reporter: 7-year-old john murray , jr., simple outreach started as he and his mom in grid were reading random messages on the walls of their local army medical center .
>> we were playing a game saying every word we saw.
>> reporter: john spotted some special posters with an unfamiliar word on them.
>> i asked mom what's that. she started walking first.
>> my first thought was, let's keep on walking through the waiting room like i didn't hear it.
>> finally she bent down and said that word is suicide, and it's when someone takes their own life.
>> reporter: his mother's explanation prompted john, jr., to dedicate his own message to troubled u.s. soldiers and veterans using post it notes. he simply wrote, "ask for help."
>> when they don't have any broken arms or legs and no blood, you can't see the sadness inside them.
>> but they still need help.
>> they do.
>> so what should they do?
>> ask for help.
>> the 7-year-old could not have put it better.
>> aler from john's mother reads the army surgeon general who then highlighted john's post it notes on the army's website. the lieutenant called the story beautiful and a lesson for all of us, a lesson that resonated with john's father, sergeant john murray sr.
>> i don't think i've ever thought of it in those simple terms. sometimes we overanalyze.
>> they say john's message needs only a postscript to civilians, talk about it.
>> there's other people that care about you and want you to ask for help.
>> reporter: help that can come from the smallest of sources as most simple of words.
>> what do you hope happens to your message?
>> it becomes true.
>> for today, nbc news, huntsville, alabama.
>> amazing little boy .