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’ (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 (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)

Eye to Eye with Katie Couric on CBS News: Veterans and Suicide (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)

CBS News: Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (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)

Senator Patty Murray Calls for Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Wake of Suicides (May 1, 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)

Continue reading

S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)

MJIA.jpeg

Military Justice Improvement Act #PassMJIA

S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

NOTE: THIS LEGISLATION NEEDED A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE TO PASS.

Date: March 6, 2014
Issues: Crime, Military Personnel, Women
Bill: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
Roll Number: 59
Yea: 55
Nay: 45
Cloture Not Invoked (Senate)

Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice -U.S.Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (March 6, 2014)

Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014)

Sen. Paul joined Senate colleagues to urge passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act. This piece of bipartisan legislation will combat sexual assault and other violent crimes in the military by restructuring the way in which they are reported and prosecuted. -Senator Rand Paul (March 6, 2014)

Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act -Senator Chuck Grassley (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went to the Senate floor to reiterate her support for the Military Justice Improvement Act of which she is an original co-sponsor and call for its immediate passage. -Senator Jeanne Shaheen (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military. -Senator Susan Collins (March 6, 2014)

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) spoke in support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 1752). -[Former] Senator Dean Heller (March 6, 2014)

The Senate came within five votes of passing a major change to the military’s command structure. An amendment by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would have stripped commanders of authority over sexual assault cases and put everything in the hands of seasoned military trial lawyers. -CBS Evening News (March 6, 2014)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks out in support of a military sexual assault bill that was blocked in the Senate. -CNN (March 6, 2014)

PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014)

Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage -Hawaii247.com (March 7, 2014)

Editors Note: The Senator’s name with a link is a Senator still serving in the U.S. Senate (as of June 24, 2019). You can click on the link and it will take you to their official Senate page. The Senators without a link have been voted out, left, retired, or died. If you click on the Vote link Yea or Nay, it will take you to the Senator’s twitter page. You can thank them for supporting the MJIA or remind those who voted Nay why the MJIA is so important.

State District Name Party Vote
AK Jr Sen.  Mark  Begich Democratic Yea
NH Sr Sen.  Jeanne  Shaheen Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Barbara  A.  Mikulski Democratic Yea
MN Jr Sen.  Al  Franken Democratic Yea
VT Jr Sen.  Bernard  ‘Bernie’  Sanders Independent Yea
MN Sr Sen.  Amy  Klobuchar Democratic Yea
TX Jr Sen.  Rafael  Edward  ‘Ted’  Cruz  Republican Yea
NM Jr Sen.  Martin  T.  Heinrich Democratic Yea
MA Sr Sen.  Elizabeth  A.  Warren Democratic Yea
HI Sr Sen.  Brian  Emmaneul  Schatz Democratic Yea
NY Jr Sen.  Kirsten  E.  Gillibrand Democratic Yea
CA Sr Sen.  Dianne  Feinstein Democratic Yea
PA Sr Sen.  Robert  P.  ‘Bob’  Casey  Jr. Democratic Yea
IN Sr Sen.  Joe  Donnelly  Sr. Democratic Yea
CT Jr Sen.  Christopher  S.  ‘Chris’  Murphy Democratic Yea
HI Jr Sen.  Mazie  K.  Hirono Democratic Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Dean  Heller Republican Yea
KY Sr Sen.  Mitch  McConnell Republican Yea
CA Jr Sen.  Barbara  Boxer Democratic Yea
VT Sr Sen.  Patrick  J.  Leahy Democratic Yea
DE Jr Sen.  Christopher  A.  ‘Chris’  Coons Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Michael  Farrand  Bennet Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  David  B.  Vitter Republican Yea
WA Sr Sen.  Patty  Murray Democratic Yea
IA Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Grassley Republican Yea
ND Jr Sen.  Heidi  Heitkamp Democratic Yea
WV Sr Sen.  John  D.  ‘Jay’  Rockefeller  IV Democratic Yea
NJ Sr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Menendez Democratic Yea
OR Jr Sen.  Jeffery  A.  ‘Jeff’  Merkley Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  Mary  L.  Landrieu Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Mark  E.  Udall Democratic Yea
AR Sr Sen.  Mark  Lunsford  Pryor Democratic Yea
ME Sr Sen.  Susan  M.  Collins Republican Yea
IL Sr Sen.  Richard  J.  ‘Dick’  Durbin Democratic Yea
WY Sr Sen.  Michael  B.  ‘Mike’  Enzi Republican Yea
WA Jr Sen.  Maria  Cantwell Democratic Yea
MI Sr Sen.  Debbie  Ann  Stabenow Democratic Yea
NY Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Schumer Democratic Yea
OR Sr Sen.  Ron  Wyden Democratic Yea
IA Jr Sen.  Thomas  ‘Tom’  Harkin Democratic Yea
OH Sr Sen.  Sherrod  C.  Brown Democratic Yea
NJ Jr Sen.  Cory  A.  Booker Democratic Yea
NE Sr Sen.  Mike  O.  Johanns Republican Yea
NM Sr Sen.  Thomas  S.  ‘Tom’  Udall Democratic Yea
KS Jr Sen.  Jerry  W.  Moran Republican Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Harry  M.  Reid Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Benjamin  L.  ‘Ben’  Cardin Democratic Yea
KY Jr Sen.  Rand  Paul Republican Yea
SD Sr Sen.  Timothy  Peter  ‘Tim’  Johnson Democratic Yea
MA Jr Sen.  Edward  J.  ‘Ed’  Markey Democratic Yea
MT Jr Sen.  John  E.  Walsh Democratic Yea
NC Jr Sen.  Janet  R.  ‘Kay’  Hagan Democratic Yea
AK Sr Sen.  Lisa  A.  Murkowski Republican Yea
CT Sr Sen.  Richard  ‘Dick’  Blumenthal Democratic Yea
WI Jr Sen.  Tammy  Baldwin Democratic Yea
MT Sr Sen.  Jon  Tester Democratic Nay
IL Jr Sen.  Mark  Steven  Kirk Republican Nay
ID Jr Sen.  James  E.  ‘Jim’  Risch Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  Marco  Rubio Republican Nay
ND Sr Sen.  John  H.  Hoeven Republican Nay
RI Jr Sen.  Sheldon  Whitehouse Democratic Nay
WI Sr Sen.  Ron  Johnson Republican Nay
VA Sr Sen.  Mark  R.  Warner Democratic Nay
SC Jr Sen.  Timothy  E.  ‘Tim’  Scott Republican Nay
VA Jr Sen.  Timothy  M.  ‘Tim’  Kaine Democratic Nay
TN Jr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Corker Republican Nay
DE Sr Sen.  Thomas  Richard  ‘Tom’  Carper Democratic Nay
NE Sr Sen.  Deb  Fischer Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  Jeff  Flake Republican Nay
NH Jr Sen.  Kelly  A.  Ayotte Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Roger  F.  Wicker Republican Nay
ID Sr Sen.  Michael  D.  ‘Mike’  Crapo Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Orrin  G.  Hatch Republican Nay
GA Sr Sen.  Clarence  Saxby  Chambliss Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  William  Clarence  ‘Bill’  Nelson  Sr. Democratic Nay
AL Sr Sen.  Richard  C.  Shelby Republican Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Claire  McCaskill Democratic Nay
ME Jr Sen.  Angus  S.  King  Jr. Independent Nay
RI Sr Sen.  John  Francis  ‘Jack’  Reed Democratic Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Roy  Blunt Republican Nay
TN Sr Sen.  Lamar  Alexander Republican Nay
SD Sr Sen.  John  R.  Thune Republican Nay
IN Sr Sen.  Daniel  R.  ‘Dan’  Coats Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Michael  ‘Mike’  Lee Republican Nay
PA Jr Sen.  Patrick  J.  ‘Pat’  Toomey Republican Nay
OH Jr Sen.  Robert  J.  ‘Rob’  Portman Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Thad  Cochran Republican Nay
TX Sr Sen.  John  Cornyn Republican Nay
NC Sr Sen.  Richard  M.  Burr Republican Nay
SC Sr Sen.  Lindsey  O.  Graham Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  John  Sidney  McCain  III Republican Nay
OK Sr Sen.  James  M.  ‘Jim’  Inhofe Republican Nay
MI Sr Sen.  Carl  Levin Democratic Nay
NA None  Jefferson  Beauregard  ‘Jeff’  Sessions  III Republican Nay
KS Sr Sen.  Charles  Patrick  ‘Pat’  Roberts Republican Nay
WY Jr Sen.  John  Barrasso Republican Nay
WV Sr Sen.  Joseph  ‘Joe’  Manchin  III Democratic Nay
GA Sr Sen.  John  H.  ‘Johnny’  Isakson Republican Nay
OK Jr Sen.  Thomas  Allen  ‘Tom’  Coburn Republican Nay
AR Sr Sen.  John  N.  Boozman Republican Nay

Related Links:
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – National Key Vote
Comprehensive Resource Center for the Military Justice Improvement Act
Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice
Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Paul Speaks in Support of Military Justice Improvement Act
Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act
On Senate Floor Senator Shaheen Calls for Passage of Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault
Heller Speaks About Military Sexual Assault Legislation
Senate blocks change to military sexual assault cases
Sen. Cruz: They didn’t sign up to be sexually assaulted
PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act
Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)

Senator Patty Murray Calls for Changes at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Wake of Suicides (May 1, 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)

Related Links:
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Veterans – United States Senator Patty Murray
“Epidemic” of military suicides investigated
Veterans and Suicide | CBS (November 13, 2007)
President Bush Signed the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Into Law
Army National Guardsman Spc. Timothy Juneman Died by Suicide; Family Shares Imminent Redeployment to Iraq ‘Major Stressor’ (March 5, 2008)
CBS News: Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (March 20, 2008)
Seven Veterans Under VA’s Care Commit Suicide
Murray calls for changes in VA in wake of veteran suicides
Murray Assails Top VA Official over Vets Suicide Cover-Up
Rural Veterans Access to Care Act, VA’s ‘Strength of a Warrior’ Campaign, Sen. Patty Murray Calls for More to Be Done for Suicidal Vets
Murray’s visit to Vancouver puts focus on veterans issues
New data reveals high death rates for Iraq, Afghanistan vets
Investigation blasts VA over wait times for mental health care
Senator Patty Murray: Veteran’s suicide prevention bill passes Senate
Murray Reiterates Mental Health Challenges Facing Veterans
U.S. military veteran suicides rise, one dies every 65 minutes
Mental Health and Suicide Among Veterans (Senate Hearing)
Waiting At VA Hospitals: A Matter Of Life And Death
Sen. Murray: VA system needs change now, not another report
Spokane Veterans Affairs hospital brings budget concerns to Sen. Patty Murray
Senator Patty Murray Urges DEA to Get Right on Pot
Sen. Murray Urges Greater Accountability, Assistance for Veteran Suicide Prevention at Senate Hearing
As Senate Prepares to Vote on Sweeping Legislation to Improve Veteran Access to Care, Senator Murray Highlights a Provision of the Bill That She Wrote, Which Would Finally Expand VA’s Caregiver Support Program
Senator Murray Continues to Fight for Veterans and their Families, Urges Support for Bill to Reduce Medical Costs for Veterans with Newborns
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

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

Timothy Juneman

Spc. Timothy Juneman, Washington Army National Guard (Screenshot from DVIDS)

“The identity of one other veteran who killed himself this year became public when his family wrote U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in April about concerns with VA mental health care. Spc. Timothy Juneman, 25, a National Guardsman and former [Fort Lewis] Stryker Brigade soldier who was injured in a roadside explosion in Iraq, died March 5, 2008…Juneman’s body was found in his Pullman home March 25, nearly three weeks after he had hanged himself. He had missed several appointments at the Spokane VA. In records obtained by Juneman before his death, Brown wrote that imminent redeployment to Iraq with the National Guard was a ‘major stressor’ contributing to Juneman’s condition, his mother said.” Read more from The Spokesman here.

In the News:

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 News (March 20, 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)

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)

Related Links:
Timothy Dean Juneman | Find A Grave
Timothy D. Juneman | Time of Remembrance
Interview with SPC Timothy Juneman | DVIDS
Lives lost at home | The Spokeman-Review
Apr. 29, More Suicide News: Seven Veterans Under VA Care in Washington Commit Suicide
US: Veteran turned away from military hospital commits suicide
Distress Signal | The American Prospect
Local veteran’s suicide reflects troubling trend
Suicide Watch | The New Republic
Soldiers’ emotional battle scars put doctors in dilemma
Veteran Suicides An Epidemic (CBS News)
Seven veterans under VA’s care commit suicide
Murray calls for changes in VA in wake of veteran suicides
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

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

House of Representatives Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Debate:

The House debates the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs (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 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and elderly veterans who are at high risk for depression and experience high rates of suicide. The bill follows hearings in the Oversight and Veterans Affairs committees seeking to address the tragic mental anguish experienced by many veterans, and is part of ongoing, comprehensive efforts by the new Congress to make veterans a top priority. Rep. Tim Walz speaks in favor. -Nancy Pelosi (October 23, 2007)

Rep. Bruce Braley speaks in favor. -Nancy Pelosi (October 23, 2007)

Rep. Tim Walz speaks in favor. -Nancy Pelosi (October 23, 2007)

Congressman Boswell’s floor statement before the final passage of the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act. (October 23, 2007)

Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act Signed Into Law:

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, Congressman Leonard Boswell, Sen. Tom Harkin and Sen. Charles Grassley present Randy and Ellen Omvig with the red line copy of the bill signed by President George W. Bush at a Jan. 25 ceremony at the Iowa Statehouse. Joshua Omvig was an Iowa soldier who committed suicide upon returning home from Iraq. The Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, authored by Boswell, is now national law. –
IowaPoliticsDotCom (January 25, 2008)

Part 1 -IowaPoliticsDotCom (January 25, 2008)

Part 2 -IowaPoliticsDotCom (January 25, 2008)

Part 3 -IowaPoliticsDotCom (January 25, 2008)

Rep. Boswell Asks for Increased Funding for Soldier Suicide Prevention:

In 2007, Boswell’s legislation, the Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act, was the first major legislation passed and signed into law to address and prevent veteran suicide. Since enactment, the Veterans Crisis Hotline and VA Suicide Prevention Coordinators have made more than 21,000 life-saving rescues. -Rep. Leonard Boswell (July 9, 2012)

Related Links:
Giving Vets Their Due
Families blame vet suicides on lack of VA care
The Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act
Omvig bill addressing suicide among veterans moves closer to law
President Bush Signs H.R. 327 and H.R. 1284 into Law
Rep. Walz on Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
Rep. Braley on Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
Boswell – H.R.327 Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention
Iowa lawmakers honor Iowa soldier, family (part 1)
Iowa lawmakers honor Iowa soldier, family (part 2)
Iowa lawmakers honor Iowa soldier, family (part 3)
Rep. Leonard Boswell on Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
Boswell Speaks on Floor for Increased Funding for Soldier Suicide Prevention
H.R.327 – Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
H.R. 327 (110th): Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
Public Law 110 – 110 – Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
House Passes Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
HOR: Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
S.3808: Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act
S. 479, Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act | CBO
Mental Health and Suicide Prevention | Senator Patty Murray
Joshua Omvig Veterans Suicide Prevention Act | Cornell Law School
Vets’ Mental Health Bill Becomes Law
The Full Story: Veterans And Suicide | CBS News
National Strategy for Preventing Veteran Suicide – VA Mental Health
Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population
Voices: The heartbreak of veterans’ suicides
Parents on VA mental health care: ‘No one was there to help’
Leonard Boswell, Veterans’ Champion in the House, Dies at 84
Army Reservist Joshua Omvig Died by Suicide; Parents Lobby for Change, Congress Passes Veterans Suicide Prevention Act in His Name (December 22, 2005)
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs