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IAVA | November 20, 2020

IAVA Weekly SITREP

As the leading voice for the post-9/11 community, IAVA continues to create awareness on issues and topics impacting our community. Below are articles and news sources from the past week:

Friday, November 20

IAVA NEWS COVERAGE

The Oklahoman: US vets, Gold Star families can get into national parks free for life

By Laurie Baratti 

Beginning on Veterans Day last week, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Gold Star families now can enjoy a lifetime of free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and federal recreational lands. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America CEO Jeremy Butler also applauded the implementation of the new order, saying, “Exposure to outdoor recreation can provide a wide range of mental health benefits and, given our nation’s ongoing veteran suicide crisis, this is a welcome step forward using a whole of government approach to improve the lives of veterans.

UPDATE: *Also reported in the Texarkana Gazette, Times-West Virginian, and Orlando Sentinel

VETERAN NEWS COVERAGE

Washington Post: Army to review discharges for soldiers kicked out for suicide attempts and sexual assault trauma

By Alex Horton

Thousands of traumatized veterans kicked out of the Army achieved a legal victory Wednesday after the Army agreed to review punitive discharges linked to mental health and sexual assault trauma, potentially unlocking care for those struggling in their post-military lives.

UPDATE: Also reported in the Associated Press, Daily Mail, US News & World Report, New York Times

New Haven Register: The war on suicide among veterans [Opinion]

By Staff

The problem isn’t that appropriate services for veterans don’t exist. But veterans don’t always like to follow orders regarding their own setbacks.“Everybody is part of the solution,” said Thomas Saadi. That means paying attention to veterans throughout the year, to remaining vigilant for signs of distress. We must also take a tempered approach regarding the rest of the general population. It’s easy to assume COVID will inspire suicides, but we must not become alarmists. Some early data is promising.

Associated Press: US withdrawal rattles Afghan allies and adversaries alike

By Kathy Gannon

An accelerated U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, announced by Washington this week, has rattled both allies and adversaries. There are fears of worsening violence and regional chaos, which some say could embolden the local Islamic State affiliate to regroup and perhaps even try to build another “caliphate.”

*Also reported in Wall Street Journal

Press Release: Denying Health Issues of K2 Vets Reminiscent of 9/11 Health Fight

From The Office of Congresswoman Maloney

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, today drew parallels between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense’s (DOD) handling of health concerns of veterans and servicemembers who deployed to Karshi-Khanabad (K2) Air Base in Uzbekistan between 2001 and 2005 and the fight to ensure health care and compensation for 9/11 responders and survivors.

The Ripon Advance: Capito’s VA patient safety measure headed to president’s desk

By Staff

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) that would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit detailed reports on patient safety and quality of care at VA Medical Centers on Nov. 16 received unanimous approval from the U.S. House of Representatives with a 394-0 vote. The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his signature to make it law.

Ironton Tribune: Supporting veterans’ mental health needs [Opinion]

By Senator Sherrod Brown

This month, I’m introducing a bill to address the lack of mental health support for vets returning home. This legislation would add a new component to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) specifically designed to talk with servicemembers about their mental health and how it could be affected during transition, and make them aware of services available to them at their local VA

Stars and Stripes: Should Biden pick a woman to run the VA?

By Steve Beynon

Whom Biden will tap to run the VA is speculation for now. Former Pennsylvania Rep. Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress and former Army secretary, appears to be a strong contender. Yet some say it is time to put a woman in charge of the nation’s largest health care network as the department shifts more resources into gender-specific health.

Newsweek: Former VA Official Claims Refusal to Discredit Female Veteran Who Complained of Sexual Assault Led to Firing

By Naveed Jamali, Tom O’Connor, Ramsey Touchberry 

The former Deputy Secretary of Veteran Affairs has claimed in an exclusive interview with Newsweek that he was fired for refusing to damage the reputation of a female Navy veteran who alleged she was the victim of a sexual assault in a V.A. facility.

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People: After Vanessa Guillen’s Death, Soldiers Speak Out on Sexual Harassment in Military

By Steve Helling

Sexual harassment is widespread in the military: A Department of Defense report says that in 2018, more than 24% of active duty women and 6% of active duty men had been sexually harassed. Now, other soldiers are speaking out about the issue — and sharing personal stories about their own experiences. On Thursday night, Dateline is airing “Voices for Vanessa,” a special report about sexual harassment in the military.

*Also reported in: Heavy and Yahoo!

Oxygen: National Guard Sergeant Who Was Allegedly Gang Raped By Soldiers Died by Suicide, Family Says

By Dorian Geiger

Morgan Robinson, who allegedly endured a series of sexual assaults at the hands of military officials and fellow soldiers during her tenure in the Army, died by suicide in 2018. Her family has since accused the military of doing “nothing” to discipline her suspected rapists.

Military.com The Pandemic Means Veterans and Their Caregivers Need Your Help More Than Ever

By Steve Schwab, Patrick Murphy

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly straining all aspects of our veteran health care system. While the professionals who provide world-class care in our Department of Veterans Affairs centers and hospitals do amazing work, their efforts are underpinned by the untrained army of family members and friends who care for our veterans at home.

*Also reported in Yahoo!

Venice Gondolier: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office pilot laid to rest

By Scott Lawson

Stephen Shull, 42,  died Nov. 1 after fighting cancer since 2016. It is likely Shull’s lung cancer began because of exposure to the burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to colleagues. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Longboat Key) expressed his sorrow at Shull’s death and wants to make changes to military policy involving burn pits. The congressman said he will co-sponsor the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act.

Thursday, November 19

IAVA NEWS COVERAGE

Washington Post: Trump’s military cuts in Afghanistan highlight an array of divisions in a 19-year-old conflict

By Dan Lamothe

Republican and Democratic lawmakers broadly agree that returning to the sprawling counterinsurgency campaigns waged in years past is no longer in the United States’ interest. Veterans — some politically active, others not — also hold an array of viewpoints. Tom Porter, the executive vice president of government affairs for the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said his group has not yet polled its members about the president’s latest decision. But in its 2020 survey of members, 28 percent said they think the U.S. war in Afghanistan was worth it, and 34 percent said it was somewhat worth it. Others were either neutral or held dimmer views about the conflict.

ConnectingVets.com: Thousands of veterans eligible for discharge reviews after Army settles lawsuit

By Abbie Bennett

Tens of thousands of former soldiers could be eligible to have their discharges reviewed by the Army following a lawsuit settlement announced Wednesday. “This is a watershed vindication of veterans’ rights,” plaintiff and Army veteran Steve Kennedy said in a statement Wednesday. Kennedy served in Iraq and is a founder of the Connecticut chapter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). “Not only will this have a practical impact on the lives of thousands of veterans, but this settlement will also signal that the federal government must be held accountable to its word to veterans.” 

*Also reported in the Military Times, Hartford Courant, New Haven Register, The Day

Escalon Times: Harder, Veterans Groups Make Final Push For Vietnam Vets

By Staff

This week, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) led a bipartisan letter alongside 111 of his colleagues asking Congressional negotiators to include his legislation benefiting Vietnam Veterans in the final National Defense Authorization Act. The effort is supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

*Also reported in Riverbank News

The Oklahoman: US vets, Gold Star families can get into national parks free for life

By Laurie Baratti 

Beginning on Veterans Day last week, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and Gold Star families now can enjoy a lifetime of free access to national parks, wildlife refuges and federal recreational lands. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America CEO Jeremy Butler also applauded the implementation of the new order, saying, “Exposure to outdoor recreation can provide a wide range of mental health benefits and, given our nation’s ongoing veteran suicide crisis, this is a welcome step forward using a whole of government approach to improve the lives of veterans.

*Also reported in the Texarkana Gazette

VETERAN NEWS COVERAGE

Washington Post: Army to review discharges for soldiers kicked out for suicide attempts and sexual assault trauma

By Alex Horton

Thousands of traumatized veterans kicked out of the Army achieved a legal victory Wednesday after the Army agreed to review punitive discharges linked to mental health and sexual assault trauma, potentially unlocking care for those struggling in their post-military lives.

Also reported in the Associated Press, Daily Mail, US News & World Report

The Washington Times: Army review of sexual harassment at Fort Hood is complete, officials said

By Mike Glenn

An independent review of the command climate and culture at Fort Hood is finished and will be released to the public next month, Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy said Wednesday.

Senior leadership at the Pentagon is now reviewing the findings and recommendations from the review. Mr. McCarthy said the Army‘s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program “hasn’t achieved its mandate to eliminate sexual assaults and sexual harassment by creating a climate that respects the dignity of every member of the Army family.”

SF Gate: Veterans with PTSD Are Struggling in the Pandemic. Could Cannabis Help?

By Elissa Esher

Veteran suicides are on the rise in 2020, likely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t know what the total numbers in 2020 will be, but the Department of Defense predicts a 3.6% increase in overall military suicides, compared to roughly 6,000 last year. But many surviving soldiers are prioritizing their mental health in these trying times, and for some of them, their medication of choice is less than conventional. A growing number of veterans are using medical marijuana to treat PTSD every year, claiming it helps them alleviate anxiety and repress traumatic memories when other treatments for the disease fail.

Associated Press: Pentagon to cut troop levels to 2,500 in Iraq, Afghanistan

By Robert Burns and Lolita Baldor 

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the U.S. will reduce troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan by mid-January, asserting that the decision fulfills President Donald Trump’s pledge to bring forces home from America’s long wars even as Republicans and U.S. allies warn of the dangers of withdrawing before conditions are right.

Also reported in the Economic Times

Stars and Stripes: VA digs in, says more data is needed on toxic exposure before providing health care to more veterans

By Steve Beynon

A Department of Veterans Affairs official on Wednesday drew the ire of some House lawmakers during a hearing over the agency’s continued resistance to providing health care to more service members and veterans for toxic exposure, stating more data is needed to conclude exposure leads to illnesses such as cancer.

Nextgov: VA Plans for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

By Frank Konkel 

If and when an authorized COVID-19 vaccine arrives, the Veterans Affairs Department aims to be ready to distribute it. VA announced that it will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners to ensure the prompt development of a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. 

ABC News: Coronavirus outbreak at Illinois veterans home infects nearly 200 residents, staff

By Meredith Deliso

On Nov. 1, the Illinois Veterans Home at LaSalle reported that two residents and two employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. In its latest update on the outbreak, released Wednesday, a total of 98 residents and 93 employees had confirmed cases. 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Congress approves tougher patient safety oversight after deaths at Clarksburg VA hospital

By Daniel Moore 

After at least seven veterans at the VA hospital in Clarksburg, W.Va., were murdered by lethal doses of insulin, both chambers of Congress have unanimously approved legislation to increase accountability at VA health centers nationwide. The U.S. House of Representatives recorded a 394-0 vote Monday to pass the Improving Safety and Security for Veterans Act.

Wednesday, November 18

VETERAN NEWS COVERAGE

New York Post: Defense secretary confirms pre-Biden troop drawdown in Iraq, Afghanistan

By Steven Nelson

Miller said the US will reduce troop levels to 2,500 in each country by Jan. 15 — down from 4,500 in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq currently. Miller, a veteran of both conflicts, described the move as a step away from “perpetual war” after nearly two decades of US intervention.

Washington Post: As Trump’s term nears close, administration announces troop level cuts in Afghanistan and Iraq

By Dan Lamothe and Missy Ryan

The U.S. military will halve the number of troops it has in Afghanistan within the next two months, Pentagon officials said Tuesday, as President Trump seeks to move closer to keeping a promise to end wars abroad despite concerns that the decision could undermine negotiations with the Taliban.

ConnectingVets.com: Lawmakers make final push to expand care for thousands more veterans sick from Agent Orange

By Abbie Bennett

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Calif., sent a letter along with 111 other lawmakers urging the Congress members set to negotiate the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week to include his measure that would expand care for thousands of Vietnam veterans “left behind by VA.” 

NBC: House Unanimously Passes Bill to Guarantee Disabled Veterans Lifetime Passes to National Parks

By Taylor Martinez

On Monday, the House of Representatives passed the Wounded Veterans Recreation Act – a bill to guarantee free, lifetime national park passes for all disabled veterans to enjoy over 2,000 federal recreation sites. By increasing veterans’ access to national parks, the legislation would help engage them with nature, which can provide healing and promote physical and mental health.

The Hill: Repealing the Affordable Care Act: Too big a price to pay for veterans [Opinion]

By Senator Jon Tester (D-MONT.)

This lawsuit is jeopardizing veterans’ and their families’ access to affordable health care and could drive-up wait times at the VA, as many veterans face limited coverage options and could turn to the Department for help. For the more than 11 million veterans with Medicare coverage, dismantling the ACA would mean higher costs. The ACA is by no means perfect — but it’s impossible to overlook the critical protections it provides for millions of individuals, veterans, and families across the country.

The Hill: How the military can lead on mental health and COVID-19 [Opinion]

By Rosemary Williams and Meaghan LeMay 

Tapping into the remarkable power of publicly available and consolidated datasets could elevate the DOD’s approach to, and understanding of, suicide prevention by enhancing visibility into deaths occurring off the installation while maintaining protection of military families’ privacy.  Using transparent guidelines and responsible restrictions on the data, the government could better understand trends, identify hotspots, and target those specific areas with localized and culturally sound interventions. 

CBS Fort Wayne: Lawmakers, experts concerned about increase in veteran suicide rate, according to new VA report

Senator Mark Warner’s (D-VA) bipartisan bill expands veterans’ access to mental health services, to reduce the suicide rate and increase outreach from the VA and nonprofits.“This is just an effort to marry these resources and my hope is that we can bring these numbers down because they are still way, way too high,” Warner said.

KCENTV.com: As COVID-19 numbers rise, Veteran mental health declines

By Bary Roy

A survey by the Wounded Warrior Project surveyed 30,000 Warriors from early May to late June. It found that 52% of respondents have suffered worse mental health and 49% experienced a decline in their physical health. The survey also showed 61% of respondents were experiencing a disconnect with family, friends and/or the community they call home. 

ConnectingVets.com: Veterans Affairs reaches record-high active COVID-19 cases for more than 2 weeks, rolls out new vaccine trials

By Abbie Bennett

The department recorded more than 11,000 active cases on Nov. 16, a record high, and was trending toward an even higher total by the afternoon of Nov. 17. From Nov. 2-16, VA recorded its highest levels of active cases since the pandemic began, starting at 6,459 on Nov. 2 and increasing each day. 

Military.com: VA Disability Claims Backlog Spiked to 300,000 During Pandemic

By Richard Sisk

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a backlog of about 300,000 new disability claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) said Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 17

IAVA NEWS COVERAGE

New Haven Register: ‘Everybody is part of the solution’, CT veteran suicide rate rises; VA monitoring COVID-19’s impact

By Peggy McCarthy

In Connecticut, 47 veterans died by suicide in 2018, an increase of 10 from the previous year, newly released statistics show. And veterans’ advocates are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic will trigger more suicides. Stephen Kennedy, Connecticut team leader of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said, “Veterans are at greater risk of COVID complications to begin with, so it is a very difficult problem to deal with.” He added that he is concerned about the pandemic worsening risk factors, “driving an increase in suicides.”

UPDATE: Additional Coverage – Connecticut Public Radio, The Hour

VETERAN NEWS COVERAGE

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Drawing Up Plans to Withdraw Troops From Iraq, Afghanistan

By Gordon Lubold and Nancy A. Youssef

President Trump is expected to order the Pentagon to withdraw more forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, furthering his promise to end U.S. involvement in world conflicts. The orders, which could come by Tuesday, would call for the U.S. military to reduce the number of troops in both countries to roughly 2,500 each by Jan. 15, five days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

The New York Times: Trump Is Said to Be Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia

By Eric Schmitt, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Charlie Savage and Helene Cooper

President Trump is expected to order the U.S. military to withdraw thousands of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia by the time he leaves office in January, using the end of his time in power to significantly pull back American forces from far-flung conflicts around the world.

Under a draft order circulating at the Pentagon on Monday, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would be halved from the current deployment of 4,500 troops, officials said.

New York Post: McConnell warns Trump troop drawdowns could repeat ‘humiliating’ fall of Saigon

By Steven Nelson

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday warned President Trump against drawing down troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying it could be a “humiliating” moment akin to the 1975 fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. Trump reportedly plans to reduce troop levels to 2,500 in each country before President-elect Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20 — down from 4,500 in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq currently.

Military.com: Biden Family’s Military Ties May Influence Approach to Policy in White House

By Matthew Cox

Experts predict that Joe Biden will position himself as an ally of veterans and military families. Biden believes his son Beau’s death from brain cancer was linked to “exposure to burn pits” in Iraq. He has promoted a plan that includes “expanding the list of presumptive conditions to include exposure to burn pits or other environmental toxins,” as well as investing $300 million to better understand the impact of toxic exposure and traumatic brain injury.

Military.com: VA Won’t Fight Court Ruling Awarding Payments to ‘Blue Water Navy’ Vietnam Vets

By Richard Sisk

The Department of Veterans Affairs has no plans to challenge a court ruling last week ordering it to make retroactive payments to a small class of “Blue Water Navy” Vietnam veterans and their survivors who were wrongly denied benefits for exposure to Agent Orange, the head of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) said Wednesday.

Forbes: Cannabis Ballot Wins Pave The Way For Social Justice Action By States And Companies

By Julie Weed

This fall’s ballot wins for cannabis legalization give states and private businesses the opportunity to ameliorate racial disparity in the industry. States are implementing legal and financial changes, expunging or sealing convictions for low level drug offenses or ensuring a portion of licenses or funds go to historically harmed groups. New Jersey lawmakers are considering allowing private equity firms to hold up to a 40% stake in up to 10 dispensary licenses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans, helping those groups gain access to capital.

Spectrum News: 5 Things to Know About Promising New Alternative Therapies for Veterans

By Julie Gargotta

Each day in the United States, 22 veterans or military members die by suicide, according to Dr. James Whitworth. But, the University of Central Florida professor of Counseling and Military Social Work, retired from the Air Force himself, said that he’s encouraged by new therapies.

Monday, November 16

IAVA NEWS COVERAGE

New Haven Register: ‘Everybody is part of the solution’, CT veteran suicide rate rises; VA monitoring COVID-19’s impact

By Peggy McCarthy

In Connecticut, 47 veterans died by suicide in 2018, an increase of 10 from the previous year, newly released statistics show. And veterans’ advocates are concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic will trigger more suicides. Stephen Kennedy, Connecticut team leader of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said, “Veterans are at greater risk of COVID complications to begin with, so it is a very difficult problem to deal with.” He added that he is concerned about the pandemic worsening risk factors, “driving an increase in suicides.”

Yale Daily News: YLS clinic helps advocate for incarcerated veterans

By Julia Brown

With the help of the Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic, eight state and national organizations dedicated to veterans rights sent a letter on Wednesday to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Interim Commissioner of Corrections Angel Quiros, demanding that the state take action to protect incarcerated veterans from COVID-19. The letter’s signatories included the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress, Minority Veterans of America, Connecticut’s branch of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center. Sam Hull LAW ’22 and Rhea Christmas LAW ’21, two members of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, spearheaded the clinic’s involvement with the letter.

VETERAN NEWS COVERAGE

CNN: ‘We can’t keep it out’: Two dozen people died of Covid-19 in a Kentucky veterans center as infections in the community surged

By Christina Maxouris

At least 24 veterans have died of Covid-19 and more than 80 have been infected since an outbreak last month at Kentucky’s Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, the state’s governor said Friday. The center was able to avoid an outbreak for months, screening employees and veterans daily since March and conducting immediate testing for anyone who was showing symptoms. But amid a Covid-19 resurgence across American communities in October and an explosion of new cases in Kentucky, the virus seeped into the center and spread like wildfire.

ABC News: Kentucky veterans center hit hard by coronavirus surge in state

By Meredith Deliso

A veterans center in Kentucky that had managed to avoid a COVID-19 outbreak until last month is now dealing with a devastating outbreak. Two dozen residents at the center have died as the virus surges in the state, officials said. The Thomson-Hood Veterans Center, one of four state-owned long-term nursing care facilities for veterans in Kentucky, has had 24 residents die due to COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear said during a virtual address Friday.

The New York Times: Two dozen infected residents have died in a coronavirus outbreak at a Kentucky veterans center.

By Tariro Mzezewa

A state-owned long-term nursing care facility for veterans near Lexington, Ky., is in the grip of a lethal outbreak of the coronavirus. Eighty-six veterans have tested positive for the virus at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center since October, and 24 have died, according to Gov. Andy Beshear. Forty-eight of the veterans have recovered, five are in the hospital, and nine are being treated at the center.

The Hill: Kentucky governor: 24 veterans have died in long-term care facility from COVID-19 since October

By Cameron Jenkins

Twenty-four veterans have died from the coronavirus since October in a state-owned longterm care facility close to Lexington, Ky., Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced Friday, according to the New York Times. Thomson-Hood Veterans Center has experienced a deadly outbreak of COVID-19 affecting both veterans and staff. A total of 86 veterans and 63 staff members have tested positive for the virus, the Times reported.

Wbay: Pandemic has disproportionately impacted veteran-owned businesses, as Wisconsin group asks for government aid

By Joshua Peguero

The pandemic has cast a long shadow on small businesses, especially those run by veterans. “Veteran-owned businesses are more likely to have had to scale back their operations, had to scale back their hours, in some cases their employees, at a much greater rate than non-veteran owned businesses,” Saul Newton, executive director of the Wisconsin Veterans Chambers of Commerce, said.

KFox14: Report: Veteran death by suicide has increased during pandemic, El Paso sees similar trend

By Alyssa Bethencourt

Over the last decade, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness has dropped, but there are concerns it could go back up because of the pandemic. Experts are also concerned about another rising statistic this year — veteran suicides. “Generally speaking, the emotions are heightened because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, in some cases, we have seen lives lost,” said Jeanette James, the clinic director at the Stephen A. Cohen Family Clinic in east El Paso.

The Lawton Constitution: Program seeks to reduce number of veteran suicides

By Chris Wilson

The “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide,” an executive order signed by President Donald Trump on June 17, is a nationwide plan to raise awareness about mental health, connect veterans and others at risk of suicide to federal and local resources, and facilitate focused and coordinated research into suicide.

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