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Improve the lives of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families.
I first met Clay Hunt in February 2010.
We were two Marine Corps veterans who served two combat deployments, his were to Iraq and Afghanistan and mine were both to Iraq. We both were students at the time trying to navigate our new paths after the Marine Corps. We were both in Washington, DC for the week advocating on behalf of our brothers and sisters - a trait refined in both of us to care for the Marines under our charge. We both brought home parts of our war.
In March of 2011 we lost Clay Hunt to suicide. And every day we lose 22 more veterans like Clay -- someone’s daughter, son, parent or friend.
Continuing my work in veteran advocacy I was honored to be part of a movement to address veteran suicide head on - and even more proud to hear that legislation addressing this issue would bear his name so his story will live on.
The key to curbing the epidemic of veteran suicides is improving the accessibility and effectiveness of mental health care available to our returning heroes -- and the Clay Hunt SAV Act will do just that. The bill received bipartisan support from lawmakers in both the House and the Senate from around the country. One lone Senator- Tom Coburn of Oklahoma stopped it from passing this week so now we must demand that Congress immediately pick it up again in the new year. No excuses! The need is urgent!
Please sign our petition asking Congress to improve health services for our nation's veterans by passing this legislation within the first 90 days of the new session.
Not another friend, parent, sister or brother should experience losing a fellow veteran to suicide. Tell Congress to make this crucial bill their top priority in January.
Anthony Pike, U.S. Marine Corps veteran