Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony M. Bucco and Senator Kristin Corrado that would designate September 22nd of each year as Veterans Suicide Awareness & Remembrance Day was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Sen. Anthony M. Bucco and Sen. Kristin Corrado’s bill that would designate September 22nd of each year as Veterans Suicide Awareness & Remembrance Day was approved by the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. (Pixabay)
“We must recognize that the profound sacrifices made by the brave men and women in our armed forces take a significant toll on their physical, mental, and emotional fortitude,” said Bucco (R-25). “The devastating reality of Veterans’ selfless service to our country is reflected by the alarming prevalence of mental health issues such as suicide. This day of remembrance would pay tribute to their service and raise awareness about the unimaginable challenges that Veterans face to end the stigma of seeking mental health treatment.”
Senior Airman Robert McRae Dean, a member of the United States Airforce tragically took his own life in 2016. To honor his memory and pay tribute to the thousands of other Veterans who have lost their lives to suicide, Dean’s cousin, United States Airforce Veteran Kevin W. Hertell, began an annual day of observance.
More than 65,000 Veterans and active military personnel have lost their lives to suicide since 2010. This staggering number represents more deaths than the number of Americans who lost their lives in combat during the Vietnam War and post 9/11 conflicts combined.
To address these issues, the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs and the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs, along with numerous organizations and nonprofits offer critical resources to support the mental health needs of Veterans and active military members.
Senator Bucco and Senator Corrado’s resolution, SJR-62, would bring more awareness to the Veterans’ mental health issues and offer support to encourage more service members to receive treatment.
“Every Veteran deserves access to life-saving mental health treatments, and it is our duty to ensure that these courageous men and women are aware of the resources and programs that are available for them,” expressed Corrado (R-40). “Service members frequently endure lengthy deployments where they are separated from their families and engaged in combat situations that intensify the burden of post-traumatic stress and suicidal thoughts. By designating one day each year to recognize their immense sacrifice, we can promote critical services to support Veterans and families in their journey towards recovery.”
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