WASHINGTON D.C. (NEXSTAR) — Veterans gathered in the capitol today pitching the most critical issues they face to lawmakers from the house and senate.
“No veteran should die by his own hands. That’s an atrocity,” said Bill Oxford: American Legion National Commander.
The veteran suicide epidemic is one of the American Legion’s biggest battles.
National commander Bill Oxford says he believes the VA offers the best mental health resources to veterans to fight it.
“We need to make sure every veteran realizes that help is out there. Let us help you,” said Oxford.
Tennessee congressman Phil Roe, a veteran himself, credits the American Legion’s work with Congress for improving VA healthcare.
“Veterans today have greater access, greater control of their care than ever before,” said U.S. Rep. Phil Roe: (R) Tennessee.
“I’ve run across veterans who won’t go to the VA. So we’ve got to reach out to them. I think you guys, ladies, and gentlemen, are critical to doing that,” said Roe.
A bipartisan bill making its way through Congress would expand suicide prevention and emergency care to nonprofits and community programs outside the VA.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman says it would also make sure the money is going to the right place.
“We need the ability to actually measure what these programs are doing. Get rid of the ones that aren’t working and then increase the others,” said U.S. Senator. John Boozman: (R) Arkansas.
The legislation is not only a top priority for Congress but also the American Legion.
Giving it a fighting chance of soon making it to President Trump’s desk.