The Trump Administration has a new initiative to prevent veteran suicide.

Today, President Trump announced the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) to address the high rate of veteran suicide in the United States. This interagency task force will involve many members of the White House including Second Lady Karen Pence and Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilke. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, about 20 veterans die everyday by suicide in the United States. 

Trump did not miss the opportunity to compare his accomplishments with that of the Obama-Biden Administration, when he said, “after years of shameful scandal and neglect under the Obama-Biden administration… we have fundamentally reorganized the VA from top to bottom.” This critique comes as the Trump Administration claimed that their administration did far more than any other administration in addressing the needs of veterans.

In addition to announcing PREVENTS, the President took the opportunity to update the progress made on his border wall. Trump credited the border for the opioid crisis, a problem that impacts veterans as well. According to the President, the wall is currently at mile 212.

Trump: after years of shameful scandal and neglect under the Obama-Biden administration… we have fundamentally reorganized the VA from top to bottom. 

Chad Hiser, a former Marine and member of the U.S. Coast Guard, spoke about his experience as a veteran that attempted suicide. Now, a member of the Wounded Warriors Project, Hiser expressed his gratitude for Trump’s leadership and PREVENTS. 

Karen Pence made it clear that mental health is a huge problem in the United States. “It’s my goal to help take away the stigma of mental health,” she stated. The Second Lady then expressed gratitude for veterans like Hiser who spoke about his battle with mental health. 

Secretary Wilke reinstated the administration’s commitment to honoring veterans when he said, “we will not fail, nor forsake, people in the United States who have always carried on without question, our freedom on their shoulders.”

 

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