In the United States, a veteran dies by suicide every 80 minutes. It's clear that America's veterans aren't getting the psychological help they need in order to cope with the stresses of being a part of the military.
Alarmingly, under the guise of the 2nd Amendment, the National Defense Authorization Act bars any military leader from broaching the subject of privately-owned weapons with another service member to gauge his safety level — even if that member seems to be depressed.
Veterans need to be given resources and support so they can resume their lives after service with little burden. Discussing suicide and psychological safety should be mandatory — not prohibited by law.
Tell Senator Patty Murray, also Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, to address this troubling law and see to it that veterans are getting the support they need before and after leaving the service.
Dear Senator Murray,
I want to thank you for the tireless work you do for veterans every day. I would also like to shed light on the troubling issue of veteran suicide.
A veteran commits suicide in America every 80 minutes. That's 18 veterans per day, and over 500 per month. I believe you will agree these numbers are staggering and heartbreaking.
Suicide is viewed by many as a taboo topic, and on this issue the military seems to agree. For example, according to the National Defense Authorization Act, no military leader may address the issue of personal gun ownership with a fellow member so as to adhere to the 2nd Amendment.
But preventing suicide doesn't have anything to do with amendments or rights — it's about preserving life and promoting mental health. That's why military leaders should be allowed to discuss personal gun ownership with other members. The more information one has about someone, the more a potential tragedy may be avoided.
Please do all you can to reverse this foolish law. Our veterans deserve life.