22 Lives Taken is Too Many: Clay Hunt SAV Act Signed by President Obama


clay-hunt-act-signing-paul-rieckhoffWhile Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), stood in front of 22 American Flags, he proudly recapped this historic day – one that he, and IAVA led the charge for. And I was left with goosebumps.

After hours on the phone, storming the Hill, and making sure our veterans are taken care of, IAVA and hundreds of others were there to watch President Barack Obama sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act into law. This Act will help aid in the prevention of veteran and active duty suicides among our service men and women.

“22 veterans commit suicide every day. If we can save just one life, this was all worth it,” Reickhoff reiterated at IAVA’s reception, following the bill’s signing.

My goosebumps came from the electric feeling of community that flowed through the room..

“This community that focuses on principles over politics is what made this happen,” Rieckhoff said. And we all felt it; this bill did not become law on its own. It took hundreds of people, working hours on end, to make sure the spotlight didn’t fade on our veterans. It also took Clay’s spirit.

“Clay Hunt was courageous. He was inspiring. He was awesome. This act will help continue his purpose,” Senator Bob McDonald shared.

Military service members, veterans, and their families need our support more than ever. President Obama encouraged those struggling, “If you are hurting, you are not forgotten, you are not alone. America is here for you. We need you.”

Congratulations to IAVA, and everyone involved in this extremely important and meaningful cause. You are helping to save the lives of our current and future veterans.

If you, or someone you know, are hurting, know that it’s okay to ask for help. Reach out, we’re here for you.

Jordan-BarrishPosted by Jordan Barrish, Public Relations Manager

2 Comments

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  1. 1
    Courtney

    I am glad that this specific problem has been given recognition and more effort will be put in place to assist our active and veteran personnel. I am currently working on my Master’s in marriage and family therapy and would love to have the opportunity to work with military families and assist couples that are struggling with something such as depression or PTSD. Our soldiers are afraid to reach out to mental health services because of the stigma associated. Those that are close to any soldiers or veterans should encourage their loved one to get help. I hope by having this act in place the suicide rate will decrease and better access to help will be implemented.

  2. 2
    George Pike

    I have made a short film raising awareness about the effects of PTSD on Military Veterans, please give it a watch and a share.

    Watch it all the way to the end

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