VAN BUREN, Ark. (KNWA) — State leaders making a stop in Van Buren Monday to discuss how they can come together to tackle veterans suicides.
In the state of Arkansas, veteran suicides are 3 times the national average. This is why some state leaders said preventing it is now at the top of their list.
Representatives from the House committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Senate state agencies and Legislative and Military Affairs are holding hearings across the state. They will be hearing from local people on how to better support our troops when they come home.
At the meeting, we heard from a military chaplain who delt with PTSD, widow of a recent suicide who spoke about warning signs and behaviors to watch for and several local veterans.
State Senator and Veteran Trent Garner said he passed a bill last year to put this study together.”We are facing this issue head on to make sure our veterans who come home are taken care of because that is a family member, that is a member of a church and that’s a community member. Those are people we need in Arkansas.
Garner said he hopes these meetings will help create a clear path of how to help veterans. The study is expected to be completed in November which will be used to put together proposed bills in 20-21.