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.”
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"Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America...remains the most important organization representing the new generation of veterans." - TIME Magazine
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the premier veterans advocacy and support organization on the planet. Every day, we fight for veterans. Hard. We are the tip-of-the spear non-profit engine of impact that connects, unites and empowers over 400,000 veterans and allies nationwide. Founded by an Iraq veteran in 2004, IAVA is the non-partisan leader in advocacy, public awareness and 1-on-1 care management and peer support. We organize locally, and drive historic impacts nationally.
Learn more at iava.org.