A new veteran anti-suicide law ends a long and painful journey for a mother and father. After initially being blocked by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act has been signed into law by President Obama. The signing of this veteran suicide bill into law ended a year of Hunt’s mother and stepfather painfully reliving their son’s suicide and battle with PTSD over and over as they campaigned with lawmakers and met with media to ensure passage of the bill.
At the end of last year’s session in Congress, the veteran anti-suicide bill was blocked by one Republican Senator. But, as promised by many lawmakers, the Clay Hunt suicide prevention bill was quickly reintroduced. With broad support from Republicans and Democrats, it quickly passed and made it to the President’s desk where the veteran anti-suicide law became official last Thursday.
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Veteran Anti-Suicide Law Brings Relief to Loved Ones
Knowing the bill would make its way to President Obama’s desk last Thursday ended a long, weary battle for Clay Hunt’s mother (Susan Selke) and stepfather (Richard Selke). Over the past year, the couple had made numerous visits to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers and answered multiple media requests regarding their son’s story and the veteran suicide bill in his name.
It was year of reliving Clay Hunt’s experience with depression and PTSD. It was a year of reliving their son’s final days and his eventual suicide. Hunt’s mother was relieved that their hard fought battle would soon be over, but understandably, she also felt that it was a bittersweet victory.
In a press release, Susan Selke stated, “While we are a little bittersweet, because it is too late for our son Clay, we are thankful know that this bill will save many lives.” That was the same sentiment shared by other loved ones of veterans who have taken their own lives and from veterans groups and suicide prevention organizations who supported the bill.
Supporters of Veteran Anti-Suicide Bill See Changes
While bittersweet, supporters of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America’s Veterans Act see this latest victory as a positive step forward. The plight of our veterans is one which many feel has not been given the attention it deserves.
Now many military families feel comforted knowing that something is being done to help veterans who are depressed. dealing with PTSD and suicidal. And others are glad to see that we are beginning to deal with the mental health of combat veterans in a more positive manner and making military suicide prevention a top priority with this new veteran anti-suicide bill.