Sinema Hosts Veterans Advisory Council Roundtable, Discusses Combatting Veteran Suicide

Oct 8, 2019

Senator also presented signed Legion Act to American Legion Arizona State Chairman

PHOENIX – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema hosted a Veterans Advisory Council roundtable discussion to address mental health and suicide prevention initiatives for Arizona veterans. Sinema also presented a signed copy of her bipartisan Legion Act to the American Legion Arizona State Chairman. Sinema’s Legion Act extends American Legion membership to veterans and servicemembers who served during non-declared conflicts and was signed into law on July 30, 2019.

“Suicide among our veterans and servicemembers represents a national crisis. I’ll continue partnering directly with Arizona veterans to ensure our servicemembers and all who have served get the care and benefits they’ve earned,” said Sinema, a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

During Veteran Suicide Prevention Month, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense released updated suicide data reports highlighting the ongoing challenge of addressing the suicide crisis within the military and veteran populations. Arizona experienced a loss on September 23, when an 86-year-old veteran apparently died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Cave Creek.

Sinema recently secured her bipartisan Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act in the Senate-passed version of the defense bill, and the U.S. House included the legislation in its version of the bill in September. The legislation was inspired by Sgt. Daniel Somers, an Arizona Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq and was diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD upon returning home. He lost his life to suicide in 2013. The bill requires that the Department of Defense work with the Red Cross to collect from new servicemembers the names of loved ones they consider to be their network of support. Sinema shared Sgt. Daniel Somers’ story during her Maiden Speech and her work in the Senate to support Arizona veterans and servicemembers.