It’s Veteran’s Day, and Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing a bill that would support military veterans with expanded mental health services in an effort to stem the growing suicide rate. At a stop in Syracuse Monday, Schumer said 1,500 veterans in New York State have committed suicide in the past 10 years. He says the measure is geared toward “state side” veterans…those who are not deployed and not eligible for some psychological support benefits.
Schumer also says the trauma suffered by veteran who are not deployed should not be underestimated.
"Our society has lots of strains these days, and when you're called up in the guard or reserve, and you're pulled away from your family, you're not sure you'll ever get your job back, it puts you to pressure."
The Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act will be part of the larger National Defense Authorization Act that Schumer says Congress needs to act on by year’s end. It's named after Indiana National Guardsman Jacob Sexton, who took his own life while home on a 15-day leave from Afghanistan. Schumer was joined by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, local Marine Corps members, active duty Air National Guard members, and veterans from various military campaigns.