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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. Today and each day, on average, 18 American warriors take their own lives. Over the last 2 years, America has lost more troops to suicide than to combat itself. Yes, you heard me correctly. These painful facts were ignored by the majority last night when they blocked an amendment I offered to this bill.

As I explained to the Rules Committee, this amendment that I offered had passed the House previously, and would have provided badly needed suicide prevention services to over 123,000 Guard and Reserve combat veterans who currently have no established suicide prevention network. My amendment proposed a tested, effective approach to counseling.

The message to these Guard and Reserve combat veterans is unmistakable. If the intrusive memories of the horrors you have witnessed in war are too much for you and you are thinking of ending your own life, you are on your own.

Yes, I am angry. Blocking this amendment is an insult to the servicemembers and the families who have already lost a loved one to suicide. The deliberate exclusion of this badly needed suicide prevention, by itself, is a compelling reason to vote against this bill.

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