Letters to the Editor

Veteran suicide by firearm is a serious issue

The pandemic that knows no boundaries relentlessly spreads every day, impacting Americans across the country. Coronavirus has tragically taken the lives of thousands of Americans and continues to cause unrest. And while the military mobilizes to help those in need during this challenging time, we should recognize another invisible threat that continues to target our veterans.

Nearly 17 veterans a day take their lives, and the majority of these instances occur using a firearm. As our service members come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and are plagued by the invisible scars of war, this issue only continues to grow.

It is our duty to help our heroes once they return, and that’s exactly what President Trump and Congress did when they appropriated $25 million for long-term studies into this tragic issue. Our president was joined in his efforts by Senator Joni Ernst, who helped secure this funding from Washington as well.

We should recognize both President Trump and Sen. Joni Ernst for their efforts to secure funding research into this crisis. However, to truly uncover the underlying reasons for the growth of veteran suicides by firearm, our leaders must acknowledge that additional funding is necessary.

I know Sen. Ernst understands and values our veterans, as she is a former member of the Iowa Army National Guard. That’s why I’m hopeful that she will continue to support funding for an issue that has taken lives and work to continue to help put an end to veteran suicides by firearm.

Jacob Long

Cedar Rapids

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