Advocates raise call for veterans suicide prevention policy

Tom Tarantino, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Megan Cloherty | November 15, 2014 1:41 am

WASHINGTON — Suicide among veterans is a growing national problem, but many advocates say despite efforts to put bipartisan issues through Congress, little policy has been pushed forward to help at-risk vets.

Tom Tarantino served as a captain in the Army. Now he represents veterans through the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

“Just over 50 percent of our members don’t believe Congress or the president are doing anything to stop veterans suicide,” Tarantino says.

He says 2013 was an empty year in Congress when it comes to policy that improved the lives of veterans.

“We had a lot of missed opportunities with some very popular bipartisan provisions that just didn’t pass,” Tarantino says.

This year, the group is making a policy push to get veterans issues addressed in the legislature.

“We also have a generation … coming home from war (who) are going to need our support and right now Congress is starting to ignore it. And this is something we cannot let happen,” he says.

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