By Congressman Chris Smith
As the former chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the author of more than a dozen laws to modernize, expand and improve the services provided by the Veterans Administration (VA), I see the need to review and evaluate existing programs to ensure that they align with the promise a grateful nation makes to those who wear and have worn the uniforms of the United States military. As President Lincoln so eloquently said at the end of the Civil War: “Let us strive…to care for him who shall have borne the battle…” a phrase later adopted as the motto of the VA.
That is why I co-sponsored and twice voted for the “Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act.” This bipartisan legislation is named in honor of the late Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran whose story is not unfamiliar to many who have attempted to navigate the VA’s bureaucracy to receive the care they have earned. Clay Hunt was one of the many veterans who experience some form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their service, yet he did not receive adequate mental health care in the VA system and took his own life at the age of 28.admin | Filed under: Chris Smith, Veterans | Tags: Chris Smith, Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans, Congressman Chris Smith, Post Traumatic Stress, Veterans Administration | No Comments »