Thursday, December 11, 2014

MY MOST IMPORTANT POST EVER: Help pass veteran mental health care act TODAY

Friends, if you read one post here ever, please let it be this: The veteran community needs your help. Today the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America's Veterans (SAV) Act, which supports much-needed (and much-belated) mental health care access improvements for vets, stymied by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who placed a Parliamentary hold on the act. His rationale? It's too expensive.

My husband did the math: The $22 million bill breaks down to less than $2,739.79 per vet who commits suicide each year. Not to mention the thousands of others who are suffering for unnecessarily long to unnecessary degrees because they can't get access to the care they need--and the care they EARNED.

Care for which Senator Coburn allegedly advocates. The following quotes are his:

"We must recognize our troops have eliminated two evil regimes that threatened international security"

"We will be doing our troops a great dishonor if our objective is to leave Iraq yet we leave them in harm's way"

"They & their families deserve our thanks & admiration for all they have sacrificed in service of our country"

That $2,739.79 per veteran suicide equates to roughly 1.57% of Senator Coburn's annual salary. Must we argue who in that equation has given more to his country?

Are you outraged by this hypocrisy? Do you support this nation's veterans? Well now you have an opportunity to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.


Share this info. Call until we jam the OK phone lines. Call until every angry American voice joins into a chorus on repeat in the senator's head. He's retiring in January, surely to a nice cushy life. Don't let his last act be to stop this critically important piece of legislation. Don't let him go quietly. DON'T LET THIS BILL DIE.

According to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who championed the bill, "The Senate is expected to end its current legislative session by Friday. If the bill does not receive a vote in the Senate before adjournment, it dies, and vets will be left to begin the entire process again -- if possible -- in the next Congress.

Also from IAVA: Richard Selke [Clay Hunt's step-father] spoke directly to Senator Coburn in a video.

"The bill we are talking about is projected to cost about $22 million dollars. That's a lot of money to me. It's a lot of money to you. But in the context of the value of a human life, it is insignificant." Selke noted that 22 veterans, on average, die by suicide every day. "There are some things in this bill that might have saved Clay's life, and that might have saved some other veterans' lives" if the resources found in the Clay Hunt SAV Act would have been available.

Find more information on the SAV Act here.

CALL NOW and CALL NOW and CALL NOW. Also, please CALL NOW.

Thank you for your time, and your voices.

PHOTO: My husband, Colin Halloran, standing amid a display of flags on the National Mall--one flag for each veteran suicide this year. Far too many.

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