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IAVA Joins Chairman Sanders, Sens. Blumenthal, Walsh in Urging Passage of Clay Hunt SAV Act

Sen. Blumenthal calls on anonymous Senator blocking bill to allow a vote

Washington D.C. (December 12, 2014) — This morning, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced he expects to bring the Clay Hunt SAV Act to the Senate floor for a unanimous consent vote between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., regardless of any holds on the bill.

At a press conference hosted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Sen. Blumenthal declared he will be asking the Senator blocking the bill from consideration to step forward. IAVA joined Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Blumenthal, Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), Susan and Richard Selke, parents of Clay Hunt, and Veteran Service Organization partners, to implore members of the Senate to pass the Clay Hunt SAV Act before they adjourn for the year today.

The Clay Hunt SAV Act, which unanimously passed the House on Tuesday, will improve access to quality mental health care and combat veteran suicide. The legislation is named after Clay Hunt, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who died by suicide in 2011. The bipartisan bill, which now has 19 Senate co-sponsors, is currently being anonymously held by one member of the Senate.

“Every veteran deserves the care that Justin Eldridge from Connecticut, and Clay Hunt, and countless others never received,” said Sen. Blumenthal. Eldridge, a U.S. Marine from Waterford, Conn. who served in Afghanistan, died by suicide in 2013.

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Photo courtesy of the Office of Sen. Blumenthal.

Also present at the press conference in support of the bill were:

Saul Levin, CEO, American Psychiatric Association

Bonnie Carroll, President, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors

Jack Du Teil, Executive Director, U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association

Veterans of Foreign Wars

Wounded Warrior Project

National Military Family Association

Association of the United States Navy

Fleet Reserve Association

Air Force Sergeants Association

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA leadership or Susan and Richard Selke about the Clay Hunt SAV Act.

Note to media: Email press@iava.org or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 12th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 7,300 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.