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Chair Maloney’s Opening Statement: Preventing Suicide in Our Nation’s Military & Veteran Communities [Video]

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Chair Maloney’s Opening Statement: Preventing Suicide in Our Nation’s Military & Veteran Communities

Opening Statement of Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney — Hearing on “Invisible Wounds: Preventing Suicide in Our Nation’s Military and Veteran Communities” –November 17, 2021

Thank you, Chairman Lynch, for holding this critically important hearing and for your unwavering commitment to our military servicemembers, veterans, and their families. In the 20 years since 9/11, almost 3 million soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines have answered the call to serve our nation overseas. Tragically, more than 7,000 servicemembers have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world.


Tens of thousands more have returned home with both visible and invisible wounds of war. Too often, these servicemembers and veterans fight their own battles that the rest of us cannot see. Sadly, many of these battles end in suicide. While we may never fully understand why any servicemember or veteran chooses to take their own life, we know that certain risk factors can make that tragic outcome more likely. Post-traumatic stress, clinical depression, and other mental health struggles can contribute to feelings of loneliness or helplessness. So can economic insecurity, a lack of access to health care or good-paying jobs, and other daily stressors and challenges that we all may confront at some point in our lives. We also cannot escape the fact that firearms are the most common method that servicemembers and veterans use to take their own lives, and they do so at a much higher rate than the general population …