Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Military Sexual Trauma – The New Face of PTSD (2007):

The Other PTSD – Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military -NBC Nightly News (May 4, 2007)

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Featured ‘The Other PTSD: Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military’ (MJFA, May 4, 2007)

Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act (2007):

The House debates the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the VA to develop and implement a comprehensive program to reduce the incidence of suicide among veterans. The bill is named for an Iraq veteran who took his own life, and recognizes the special needs of veterans suffering from PTSD and elderly veterans who are at high risk for depression and experience high rates of suicide. -Rep Leonard Boswell (October 23, 2007)

President George W. Bush Signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Into Law (MJFA, November 5, 2007)

The Number One Problem Combat Vets Will Face is Mental Health (2007):

Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense tells Armen Keteyian that the No. 1 problem facing vets of Afghanistan and Iraq will be mental health. -CBS News (November 13, 2007)

The Veteran Suicide “Epidemic” (CBS News, November 13, 2007)

Veterans Who Get Help at VA Are Still at Risk of Suicide (2008):

CBS News first reported on the staggering number of veteran suicides in a report last year. Now, newly-released data shows that vets who get help from the VA are still at risk. -CBS (March 20, 2008)

Suicides Seen Among Vets Treated By VA (CBS News, March 20, 2008)

Seven Vets Under VA’s Care Died by Suicide in Washington (2008):

They served their country honorably but after risking their life in combat abroad, coping with coming home was too much. In the last three months seven servicemen being treated by Spokane’s VA Hospital have committed suicide. -4 News Now (April 29, 2008)

Army National Guardsman Spc. Timothy Juneman Died by Suicide; Family Shares Imminent Redeployment to Iraq ‘Major Stressor’ (March 5, 2008)

Senator Patty Murray Alleges VA Cover-up of Veteran Suicide (2008):

Despite recent efforts by the Veterans Administration to prevent veteran suicide, seven have committed suicide in the Inland Northwest in the last four months and US Senator Patty Murray is calling the situation unacceptable. -4 News Now (May 1, 2008)

Murray Assails Top VA Official over Vets Suicide Cover-Up (Senator Patty Murray, April 23, 2008)

“The Betrayal Issues Are Really Deep” (2009):

Katie Couric investigates an alarming trend in the U.S. military, as more and more female soldiers have come forward with tales of sexual abuse at the hands of male soldiers and superior officers. -CBS (March 17, 2009)

Sexual Assault Permeates U.S. Armed Forces (CBS News, March 17, 2009)

The Life and Death of Marine Corps Veteran Clay Hunt (2013):

“Clay had the world at his fingertips,” a friend recalls. Why did the Marine combat vet take his own life? -CBS News (March 3, 2013)

Marine Veteran & PTSD Advocate Clay Hunt Died by Suicide in Texas Home; Death Prompted the Passage of the Clay Hunt SAV Act (March 31, 2011)

“Every Day a Screaming Agony in Every Nerve Ending in My Body” (2014):

The parents of a veteran who received treatment at the Phoenix VA facility speak out after their son took his own life. -CNN (May 30, 2014)

Soldier’s suicide note goes viral; family demands better for veterans (CNN, July 6, 2013)

Veteran Suicides at the Phoenix VA Doubled (2014):

Whistleblower says suicide rated doubled at Phoenix VA. -ABC 15 Arizona (May 31, 2014)

Bad VA care may have killed more than 1,000 veterans, senator’s report says (CNN, June 24, 2014)

Veterans Affairs Scandal Now a FBI Criminal Investigation (2014):

Extensive report reveals thousands of veterans waited months to see a doctor. -ABC News (June 10, 2014)

Senate overwhelmingly passes VA bill as FBI opens criminal investigation (Washington Post, June 11, 2014)

Parents Testify on Their Son’s Experience with VA Mental Health Care (2014):

Congresswoman Sinema Participates in House Veterans Affairs Hearing on Preventing Veteran Suicide with Howard and Jean Somers, parents of Daniel Somers, the Arizona Congressional District 09 resident and Army veteran, who committed suicide on June 10, 2013 after failing to receive adequate care from the Phoenix VA. -Kyrsten Sinema (July 10, 2014)

Parents Testify on Their Son’s Experience with VA Mental Health Care (C-SPAN, July 10, 2014)

Family Says Veterans Affairs Issues Contributed to Son’s Suicide (2014):

Family says Veterans Affairs issues contributed to son’s suicide. -WMAR-2 News (July 10, 2014)

Arizona family helps ‘put face’ on veteran suicides, VA role (Tuscon Sentinel, July 10, 2014)

Honoring Army Veteran Brandon Meyers Lost to Suicide (2014):

One shot in the head. After two tours in Iraq, it took only one bullet to end a proud Marine’s life and to break a mother’s heart. -CBS Chicago (August 7, 2014)

Honoring Son Lost To PTSD Suicide, Marine’s Mom Finds Her Purpose (CBS Chicago, August 7, 2014)

Suicidal Veterans Are Falling Through the Cracks (2015):

Now a new whistle blower is coming forward with more claims of veterans slipping through the cracks, this time it has to do with suicidal veterans. -FOX 10 Phoenix (February 6, 2015)

Senator wants answers from VA Secretary on the poor treatment of VA whistleblowers (The Washington Post, April 28, 2015)

President Barack Obama Signs the Clay Hunt SAV Act (2015):

On February 12, 2015, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act into law at the White House. -The Obama White House (February 12, 2015)

The Clay Hunt Act: What President Barack Obama Just Signed (February 12, 2015)

Investigation Finds Thousands of Vet Benefit Claims Discarded (2015):

Last summer’s scandal at a Phoenix VA hospital rocked the Department of Veterans Affairs. CBS News investigations revealed widespread manipulation of appointment wait times. Now, CBS News has uncovered similar mismanagement within the Veterans Benefits Administration. -CBS This Morning (February 25, 2015)

Bombshell CBS Investigation: Thousands of Vets Disability Claims Intentionally Ignored by VA (Washington Free Beacon, February 25, 2015)

Female Vets Commit Suicide at Six Times the Rate of Other Women (2015):

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs analyzed a decade of suicide data and found female veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women. -KPBS (June 11, 2015)

Suicide rate of female military veterans is called staggering (Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2015)

VA Provides Inconsistent Treatment to Vets with Depression (2015):

A new study shows high suicide rates in veterans are caused in part because the Department of Veteran Affairs is not properly treating the warning signs that accompany suicidal behavior. -USA Today (July 24, 2015)

GAO Report: VA Provides Inconsistent Treatment To Veterans With Depression (Connecticut Health I-Team, December 18, 2014)

Peter Kaisen Died by Suicide in Long Island Vet Affairs Parking Lot (2016):

A cry for help ended in tragedy in Long Island, New York when a veteran who was turned away from a VA hospital took his own life outside the facility. On average, 22 vets commit suicide every day in the United States. -RT America (August 25, 2016)

76-year-old veteran commits suicide in VA parking lot (Washington Times, August 25, 2016)

Kyrsten Sinema Makes Veteran Suicide Prevention a Priority (2016):

Congresswoman Sinema hosts the fourth annual bipartisan special order hour on veteran suicide prevention. -Krysten Sinema (September 14, 2016)

Sgt. Daniel Somers put a bullet in his head, leaving a chilling note damning the scandal-hit VA for failing to treat his PTSD. Here, his parents expose the abject failure of those charged with caring for our war heroes (Daily Mail, May 29, 2014)

Curtis Gearhart Had Headaches & Was Waiting for VA Appointment (2016):

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst is demanding that the Veterans Administration investigate the suicide of a 32-year-old Iraq war veteran. -KCCI (November 17, 2016)

Vet’s suicide came during wait for VA appointment, friends say (Des Moine Register, November 11, 2016)

When John Toombs Asked for Help, They Opened Up Pandora’s Box (2016):

A man was found dead on VA property after he he posted a video claiming that the medical center forced him out of treatment. -News Channel 5 (November 28, 2016)

Friends: Soldier who took his life outside VA is tragic example of vets desperate for help (Fox 17 Nashville, November 25, 2016)

Marine Vet Died by Suicide After Denied Admission to VA Inpatient (2016):

Sgt. Brandon Ketchum, a combat veteran, was desperately fighting the self-destructive urges pulsing through his generation of men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan when he arrived at the VA hospital in Iowa looking for help. -USA Today (November 29, 2016)

‘A war within myself’: One veteran’s struggle for life after combat (USA Today, February 28, 2016)

Paul Shuping Died by Suicide in Durham VA Parking Lot (2017):

Veteran’s suicide in Durham VA parking lot highlights problem. -CBS 17 (March 6, 2017)

Friends: Fight for disability benefits led vet to kill himself at Durham VA (WRAL, March 6, 2017)

Veterans Affairs Makes the Same Mistakes Over and Over (2017):

The day before the 4th of July, some veterans are dusting off their uniforms to join in parades. -WFLA News Channel 8 (July 3, 2017)

Veterans protest, claim VA frustration leads to suicides (WFLA, July 3, 2017)

Twenty Percent of the Nation’s Suicides Involve Veterans (2017): 

On average, 20 veterans commit suicide every day. -WRPI (September 25, 2017)

VA report indicates suicide rate for veterans about twice the rate for civilians (WPRI, September 26, 2017)

These Two Veterans Wanted to Die by Suicide on VA Property (2017):

In the United States, 22 veterans take their lives every day. -WFLA News Channel 8 (September 29, 2017)

Veteran suicides, VA corruption focus of rally and protest (WFLA, September 29, 2017)

Suicide Brings to Light Issues Tormenting Female Vets (2017):

According to the Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs, 20 veterans die from suicide every day. Nicole Langhorst understands the pain of those left behind, having lost her sister Michelle to suicide after Michelle served 9 years in the Army. Now she’s turning her loss into a mission to help others. -Matter of Fact (October 14, 2017)

Recent Pittsburgh suicide brings to light issues tormenting female veterans (Pittsburg Post-Gazette, April 9, 2015)

A Spotlight on Suicide Among Female Veterans (2017):

A spotlight on suicide among female veterans. -WCPO.com (November 8, 2017)

Music video highlights unseen issue of suicide among female veterans (WCPO, November 8, 2017)

Army Veteran Freezes to Death After Released by VA Hospital (2018):

He was found in a parking garage in below freezing temperatures, wearing only a light jacket. The medical examiner says he likely died of hypothermia. He was 57. -11 Alive (January 4, 2018)

Army veteran freezes to death after being released from VA hospital (KTVB, January 5, 2018)

VA Officials Driving It ‘Into the Ground,’ Whistleblower Says (2018):

Scott Davis, a Veteran Affairs whistleblower, details the problems plaguing the government agency and explains why the issues have yet to be fixed — despite a campaign promise from President Trump to do so. -Fox Business (May 16, 2018)

VA whistleblower: Veteran care getting worse as Trump searches for department head (Fox Business, May 16, 2018)

To Prevent Veteran Suicides, Stop Waging Wars Across the Globe (2018):

On one of America’s biggest holidays there was a group of people that say they are being ignored. Former US service personnel say veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are not getting the treatment they need. -RT (July 5, 2018)

‘To prevent veterans’ suicide, US should stop waging wars across the globe’ (RT, July 5, 2018)

Arizona Family Fights to Raise Awareness About Veteran Suicides (2018):

Arizona veterans are four times more likely to commit suicide. A Valley family is fighting for legislation that requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to share suicide statistics of veterans with the state Legislature and the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs. -12 News (July 23, 2018)

Valley family fights to raise awareness about veteran suicides (12 News, July 23, 2018)

VA Program To Lower Suicide Rate Has Few Takers (2018):

Last year the VA offered to treat vets who don’t normally qualify for care, because they earned a less than honorable discharge. Almost no one used the program. Now veteran’s groups are hoping a change in the law will help this group of veterans who struggle with suicide. -KPBS (August 31, 2018)

VA Program To Lower Suicide Rate Has Few Takers (KPBS, September 4, 2018)

A Father Talks About the Pain of Veteran Suicide (2018):

New details in Derrick Macklin’s suicide. -WMSV (November 19, 2018)

A father talks about the pain of veteran suicide (News 4 WSMV, November 19, 2018)

Veteran’s Suicide Prompts Mother to Warn Others (2018):

A military mom is trying to make a difference after her son killed himself after returning from deployment in Iraq. -KING 5 (November 29, 2018)

Army Veteran Shawn Bryce McVea Died by Suicide; Death Prompts Mom to Educate Others of Warning Signs After Deployment (MJFA, September 4, 2017)

A Silent Protest Over A Broken Veterans Affairs System (2018):

Some veterans say they cannot get the care they need after serving our country. Learn how some of them are making their final act a silent protest of what they call a broken system. -KCTV 5 News (December 18, 2018)

Suicide among veterans: Their silent protest over broken VA system (KCTV 5, December 18, 2018)

Sister of Nebraska Vet Who Died by Suicide Wants Answers From VA (2019):

Sister of Columbus vet who died by suicide wants answers from Veterans Affairs. -KCAU-TV Sioux City (March 8, 2019)

Sister of Columbus vet who died by suicide wants answers from Veterans Affairs (KETV 7 Omaha, March 8, 2019)

Texas Veteran Died by Suicide in VA Waiting Room (2019):

Austin’s Veteran Affairs Clinic shut down Tuesday as detectives investigated a suicide in the first-floor waiting room. -KXAN (April 9, 2019)

Austin Veterans Affairs Clinic to reopen Wednesday after suicide shut down building (KXAN, April 10, 2019)

Vet Who Went to VA for Help Died by Suicide in Parking Lot (2019):

Sen. Johnny Isakson has vowed to double down on veteran suicide prevention efforts after the deaths of two veterans last week. One of the veterans, Gary Pressley, killed himself in the parking lot of the Dublin VA hospital. His mother describes why he was going and what he hoped to get from them. -13 WMAZ (April 9, 2019)

‘I just wish they would have found him and stopped him:’ Central Georgia family mourns after veteran commits suicide (13 WMAZ, April 9, 2019)

Representative Phil Roe Wants You to “Be There” for Veterans (2019):

Be There for Veterans and Help Prevent Veteran Suicide. -Representative Phil Roe, House Vet Affairs GOP (April 9, 2019)

Roe Calls for Hearing on Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Veteran Suicide (Rep. Phil Roe, August 29, 2019)

AMVETS Wants Investigation of the Veteran Suicide Epidemic (2019):

The group counts 19 suicides on VA campuses nationwide from October 2017 to November 2018. -11 Alive (April 11, 2019)

Groups calling for investigation into care at VA hospitals after recent suicides (WCNC, April 11, 2019)

Recent Suicides on VA Properties Sound the Alarm on Veteran Care (2019):

On average, about 20 veterans a day die by suicide. Since 2017, at least 25 veterans have taken their lives on the ground of Veterans Affairs facilities. Dean Reynolds shares one veteran’s story. -CBS Evening News (May 9, 2019)

Suicides on VA properties sound the alarm on veteran care (CBS Evening News, May 8, 2019)

Veteran & Active-Duty Military Suicide Hearings (2019):

Natl. Security Subcommittee Hearing: Veteran and Active-Duty Military Suicides. -Oversight Committee (May 8, 2019)

Veteran and Active-Duty Military Suicides (Committee on Oversight & Reform, May 8, 2019)

Marine Veteran Believes the VA is Pushing Him to End Life (2019):

A former Marine believes the VA is discriminating against him and pushing him to commit suicide. He contends a VA doctor told him to go home to die in peace. -WFLA News Channel 8 (May 29, 2019)

Veteran seeking civilian doctor believes VA is pushing him to end his life (WFLA, May 29, 2019)

Veteran Resources Dominates Senator Sinema’s First Floor Speech (2019):

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema gave her first speech Tuesday, calling for more mental health resources for veterans. On the senate floor, she recounted the story of Sgt. Daniel Somers, a war veteran who died by suicide after serving two tours in Iraq. Sinema says her bill, the Daniel Somers Network of Support Act, could help make the difference for many veterans seeking mental health resources, like Sgt. Sommers did in the months after returning back to the U.S. -Roll Call (July 23, 2019)

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Demands Attention To Veterans’ PTSD In First Floor Speech (Huffington Post, July 23, 2019)

WV VA Confirms Two Homicides of Veterans, Investigation Expanded (2019):

West Virginia politicians are calling for answers after a Vietnam veteran’s death at a VA hospital was ruled a homicide. A lawyer for Felix McDermott’s estate provided The Associated Press with a legal document sent to the VA claiming the 82-year-old was wrongly injected with a fatal dose of insulin in April 2018. -WPXI-TV News Pittsburgh (August 25, 2019)

Attorney: Investigation into suspicious deaths at VA hospital in Clarksburg WV appears to be expanding (West Virginia News, August 29, 2019)

Related Links:
The Other PTSD – Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams Featured ‘The Other PTSD: Sexual Abuse of Women in the Military’
Rep. Walz on Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
Eye To Eye: Vets And Suicide (CBS News)
The Veteran Suicide “Epidemic”
Vets’ Mental Health Bill Becomes Law
Veteran Suicides An Epidemic
Suicides Seen Among Vets Treated By VA
Murray Assails Top VA Official over Vets Suicide Cover-Up
Seven veterans under VA’s care commit suicide
Murray calls for changes in VA in wake of veteran suicides
Lives lost at home (The Spokemans-Review)
Sex Abuse And Female Soldiers
Sexual Assault Permeates U.S. Armed Forces
The life and death of Clay Hunt
The Life and Death of Clay Hunt
Sgt. Daniel Somers put a bullet in his head, leaving a chilling note damning the scandal-hit VA for failing to treat his PTSD. Here, his parents expose the abject failure of those charged with caring for our war heroes
Veteran’s suicide note highlighted Phoneix VA problems
Family shines spotlight on Veteran’s suicide
Veterans Affairs Scandal Now a Criminal Investigation
Senate overwhelmingly passes VA bill as FBI opens criminal investigation
Bad VA care may have killed more than 1,000 veterans, senator’s report says
Soldier’s suicide note goes viral; family demands better for veterans
Soldier’s suicide note goes viral; family demands better for veterans
Voices: The heartbreak of veterans’ suicides
Family says Veterans Affairs issues contributed to son’s suicide
Parents Tesfify on Their Son’s Experience with VA Mental Health Care
Arizona family helps ‘put face’ on veteran suicides, VA role (July 10, 2014)
Congresswoman Sinema at House Veterans Affairs Hearing on Veteran Suicide
Iraq war vet’s suicide note goes viral
Honoring Son Lost to PTSD Suicide, Marine’s Mom Finds Her Purpose
Honoring Son Lost To PTSD Suicide, Marine’s Mom Finds Her Purpose
GAO Report: VA Provides Inconsistent Treatment To Veterans With Depression
Whistle blower comes forward claiming VA mishandles suicidal vets
VA whistleblower says ‘sitters’ watching suicidal veterans need more training
New Analysis Sheds Light On Suicide Rate Among Female Veterans
New VA scandal: CBS News finds thousands of vets’ benefit claims discarded
Bombshell CBS Investigation: Thousands of Vets Disability Claims Intentionally Ignored by VA
2 Western Pennsylvania veterans’ suicides raise questions
Recent Pittsburgh suicide brings to light issues tormenting female veterans
Senator wants answers from VA Secretary on the poor treatment of VA whistleblowers
Suicide rate of female military veterans is called staggering
Report: VA inadequately protects suicidal veterans
20 Veterans Die By Suicide Every Day. Here’s What The VA Is Doing About It
Veteran commits suicide outside VA hospital
76-year-old veteran commits suicide in VA parking lot
Veterans Suicide Special Order Hour – Sgt. Daniel Somers
Vet’s suicide came during wait for VA appointment, friends say
Friend hopes veteran’s death is ‘catalyst for big change’
Friends: Soldier who took his life outside VA is tragic example of vets desperate for help
Father Questions VA Treatment Of Veteran Son Who Died By Suicide
A war within: The battle against PTSD and veteran suicide
‘A war within myself’: One veteran’s struggle for life after combat (USA Today, February 28, 2016)
Veteran’s suicide in Durham VA parking lot highlights problem
Friends: Fight for disability benefits led vet to kill himself at Durham VA
Veterans protest, claim V.A. frustration leads to suicides
Veterans protest, claim VA frustration leads to suicides
VA report indicates suicide rate for veterans about twice the rate for civilians
VA report indicates suicide rate for veterans about twice the rate for civilians
Veteran suicides, VA corruption focus of rally and protest
Veteran suicides, VA corruption focus of rally and protest
Sister of Veteran Killed by Suicide Turning Her Loss into A Mission
A spotlight on suicide among female veterans
Music video highlights unseen issue of suicide among female veterans
Army veteran freezes to death after being released by VA hospital
Army veteran freezes to death after being released from VA hospital
Veterans Affairs officials driving it ‘into the ground,’ whistleblower says
VA whistleblower: Veteran care getting worse as Trump searches for department head
Battling Depression And Suicide Among Female Veterans
‘To prevent veteran suicides, US should stop creating so many of them’ – Iraq war veteran
‘To prevent veterans’ suicide, US should stop waging wars across the globe’
Valley family fights to raise awareness about veteran suicides
Valley family fights to raise awareness about veteran suicides
VA Program To Lower Suicide Rate Has Few Takers
VA Program To Lower Suicide Rate Has Few Takers
New details in veteran’s suicide
A father talks about the pain of veteran suicide
Veteran’s suicide prompts mother to warn others
Suicide among veterans: Their silent protest over broken VA system
Suicide among veterans: Their silent protest over broken VA system
Sister of Columbus vet who died by suicide wants answers from Veterans Affairs
Sister of Columbus vet who died by suicide wants answers from Veterans Affairs
Suicide inside Austin Veterans Affairs Clinic shuts down building
Dublin VA hospital suicide | Mother details her son’s issues with hospital
Be There for Veterans and Help Prevent Veteran Suicide
‘I just wish they would have found him and stopped him:’ Central Georgia family mourns after veteran commits suicide
Austin Veterans Affairs Clinic to reopen Wednesday after suicide shut down building
Groups calling for investigation into care at VA hospitals after recent suicides
Groups calling for investigation into care at VA hospitals after recent suicides
Recent suicides on VA properties sound the alarm on veteran care
Natl. Security Subcommittee Hearing: Veteran and Active-Duty Military Suicides
Veteran and Active-Duty Military Suicides (Committee on Oversight & Reform)
Suicides on VA properties sound the alarm on veteran care
Lawmakers From 11 States Have a Plan to Tackle Suicide and Other Issues Veterans Face
Marine veteran seeking civilian doctor, believes VA is pushing him to end his life
Veteran seeking civilian doctor believes VA is pushing him to end his life
Veteran seeking civilian doctor believes VA is pushing him to end his life
Veteran resources dominates Sen. Sinema’s maiden floor speech
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Demands Attention To Veterans’ PTSD In First Floor Speech
Roe Calls for Hearing on Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Veteran Suicide
Local man’s death at Clarksburg VA facility now being called a homicide
Attorney: Investigation into suspicious deaths at VA hospital in Clarksburg WV appears to be expanding

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