Washington D.C. (December 10, 2014) – One day after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans (SAV) Act, the U.S. Senate surprisingly failed to take up the legislation during its evening session tonight. Susan Selke, the mother of Clay Hunt, the Marine for whom the legislation was named and who died by suicide after two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in the Senate Gallery tonight eagerly awaiting passage.
The lack of action by the Senate is distressing to IAVA members and veterans across the United States who have been carefully monitoring this bill, which is designed to give them access to mental health care through the VA system upon their return from war.
IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff issued the following statement:
“America’s veterans were waiting to see the Clay Hunt SAV Act passed tonight, and inexplicably that did not happen. With the Senate calendar quickly drawing to a close, there’s just no more time for delays or excuses. Tonight’s inaction means another day where vets are left without the mental health care they deserve. The House has done its job, now the Senate needs to remember that 22 vets die by suicide every day. We owe it to these men and women who defended our country not to delay the passage of the SAV Act. You can bet that even more IAVA members and American veterans will be watching tomorrow when we expect to see this bill approved.”
Note to media: Email email@example.com or call 212-982-9699 to speak with 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 15th anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 8,000 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.