By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
30th Congressional District Texas in the US House of Representatives
One veteran lost to suicide is too many. This year, on any given day, it is estimated that over 20 veterans take their lives. Families lose loved ones, communities lose neighbors, and our nation loses heroes. I have dedicated my career to supporting our veterans – first as the Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the Dallas VA Medical Center and now as a Member of Congress fighting on behalf of those served. As the granddaughter, daughter, niece, wife, and sister of veterans, I recognize the importance of supporting our servicemen and women both on and off the battlefield.
It is more important now than ever before that we commit the necessary resources and care to overcome this national crisis. That is why I worked with my colleagues in Congress to pass legislation designating the three-digit 9-8-8 as the new, simpler number for the National Suicide Hotline. When enacted, this bill will make it easier for veterans to access help and treatment during a time of need. We owe our veterans a limitless debt of gratitude for the many sacrifices they made on behalf of our country. Although the month of September has been dedicated as Suicide Prevention Awareness Month–the need to address Veterans’ issues are ongoing. Let us continue to show our support for the men and women who have worn the uniform.
Congresswoman Eddie B Johnson represents the 30th congressional district of Texas in the United States House of Representatives, where she chairs the House Committee on Science Space and Technology.