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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HOLT. I thank the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Mr. SKELTON, for joining me in this. And I also want to recognize the cosponsors, Mr. Bishop and Mr. Himes, for their support of this amendment, which seeks to address a serious gap in our military suicide prevention efforts, a gap that cost the life of one young constituent of mine, Sergeant Coleman Bean of East Brunswick, New Jersey, and has cost the lives of an unknown number of others.

During two tours of duty in Iraq, Coleman saw the horrors of war firsthand; and like others, he sought treatment for post-traumatic distress disorder when he returned home in 2004. Unfortunately, because Coleman was a member of the Individual Ready Reserve, neither the Army nor the VA would take the lead on treating him. Tragically, only months after returning from his second tour in Iraq, Sergeant Coleman Bean took his life in September 2008.

Our amendment seeks to prevent future such tragedies by requiring the Secretary of Defense to ensure that members of the IRR or those who serve as Individual Mobilization Augmentees who have completed at least one tour in either Iraq or Afghanistan receive a counseling call from properly trained personnel not less than once every 90 days so long as the servicemember remains in the IRR or as an IMA, to take whatever follow-up measures are required to help identify at-risk Reservists, and to report to Congress on the program's effectiveness.

I ask my colleagues to support this important and I think very necessary amendment.


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