"Rose Covered Glasses" is a serious essay, satire and photo-poetry commentary from a group of US Military Veterans in Minnesota.
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Thursday, October 01, 2020
Church members set up 660 American flags on the lawn of St. Peter’s Reformed Church Zelienople, Pa., on Aug. 30, 2019, to illustrate the number of veterans that commit suicide a year. (Keith Srakocic/AP)
TIMES”By Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs 2001 to
legislation recognizes a deep truth that America needs to take
onboard if it is going to end veteran suicide: VA can’t do this job
alone and American communities want to help their veterans.
the 20 veterans, reservists and guardsmen who take their lives each
day, 60 percent of them are not currently seeking care at VA…..”
February 2018, one of our nation’s best and brightest chose a path
that too many of our military leaders take after they leave the
John Scott Hannon, who had a distinguished career in U.S. Special
Operations Command and as a leader of SEAL Team Two, took his own
never had the privilege of meeting this patriot, but as a Navy combat
veteran who served during the Vietnam War, I am proud to have served
in a branch that produces such fine men as Hannon. This nation is
equally proud of his record of service in Europe, the Middle East and
a former secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, I am
especially troubled by his passing, and I remain concerned about the
ongoing tragedy of veteran suicide.
before he left us, Hannon laid out a path this country would do well
to explore in order to end this tragedy once and for all. He found
comfort in working to improve the mental health of other veterans,
even as he was working on his own recovery.What he was trying to do
was rebuild connections between veterans and their communities that
can help heal the terrible wounds our men and women sometimes suffer
as they defend this nation. And I am pleased to see an attempt to
follow the advice Hannon left behind, which has the potential to save
thousands of veterans and spare their families a grief that no family
should have to bear.
August, the Senate took an important step toward that vision by
passing the Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care
Improvement Act. The Senate’s unanimous vote shows how the power of
a good idea can cut through the usual partisan divide and win quick
support, and it’s critical that the House take up this work and
pass the bill as well.
legislation is a bipartisan push to implement many of the best ideas
about recovery, connection and community. It would establish a new
grant program that would let the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
fund community organizations across America that can work to identify
at-risk veterans and promote early intervention at the ground level.
would expand veterans’ access to alternative care programs and
provide grants to non-VA organizations that provide mental health
would give guardsmen and reservists access to VA Vet Centers in their
communities for mental health screening, counseling and other
it would boost the care that many veterans seek at VA, by ensuring
every VA hospital has at least one suicide prevention coordinator on
staff, increasing VA research on mental health, and increasing
capacity for telehealth services to reach rural veterans.
means we need to reach beyond VA and work closely with organizations
that can reach veterans where they live, and the Senate bill does
who has led the VA knows that one of our toughest challenges is
making sure veterans return all the way home to a country that loves
them and respects their service.
Senate’s passage of this bill is a much-needed step in the right
direction that will give more organizations the tools to help, not
just VA. I urge House leaders to pass it quickly so all of America
can get to work and help our veterans in need.”