Obama to Order VA to Add Staff, See Suicidal Vets Within 24 Hours
by Megan McCloskey
Stars & Stripes, Aug. 30, 2012
BLOGBACK: It must be noted that neither the president or Mitt Romney have ever served in the military. None of Romney’s five sons — Taggart, Matthew, Joshua, Benjamin and Craig — have ever served in the military; they all did serve as Mormon missionaries though. It is unlikely Obama’s daughters — Malia and Sasha — will serve in uniform; though it remains to be seen as both are too young. It seriously leaves to question whether either man would have devoted such a level of attention to challenges impacting veterans and service members had they not been in competition for their 23 million votes. The current epidemic of suicides and the 907,000 backlogged VA benefits claims are certainly troubling when considering the president’s record on veterans’ issues. Suicides and backlogged claims have both increased greatly during Obama’s presidency with little or no intervention as commander-in-chief.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Friday directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to expand mental health services and suicide prevention efforts.
The president will make the announcement in a speech to troops at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he’ll also hold a roundtable with soldiers and their families. Much of what’s outlined in the executive order are initiatives that were previously announced earlier this summer by the VA.
Obama is instructing the VA to ensure that any veteran with suicidal thoughts is seen by a mental health professional within 24 hours — a standard already set for the VA, but which the department often fails to meet.
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Filed under: Resources Tagged: | Fort Bliss Texas, Military Mental Health, Mitt Romney's sons, Obama veterans record, PTSD, Suicide prevention, VA claims backlog, VA Hiring Mental Health Professionals, VA Mental Health Care Delays, Veterans Promises