SPRINGFIELD — To bring attention to the recent epidemic of suicide among veterans, state Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, is sponsoring a resolution that supports veterans who may be facing mental illness. It also requests the state create a memorial for veterans who have been lost due to suicide.
“As the son of a United States Marine, I know that the physical and mental scars suffered abroad by our bravest citizens are often brought back home and can last forever,” Yednock said.
“That’s why we need to make it clear to our veterans that we support them in many ways, not just with words, but with action. As a state, we should both honor our fallen heroes and do everything we can to support future and current veterans who may face mental illness by providing the services and support that they deserve.”
Many veterans returning from active duty experience physical and psychological ailments. In 2016, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times greater than non-veterans and accounted for 14 percent of all adult suicide deaths in the U.S, even though only 8 percent of the population has served in the military. In 2016, 162 veterans died by suicide in Illinois.
House Resolution 168 states support for veterans currently struggling with mental illness and suicidal thoughts and pays tribute to veterans who have lost their lives to suicide. HR 168 encourages the state of Illinois to create a memorial for veterans who have died of suicide to be included at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, where other war memorials commemorate Illinois’ veterans.
“It’s important to establish a memorial to honor our veterans who have been lost to suicide, because they are still very much casualties of war,” Yednock said.
“By having a physical memorial erected here in Illinois, we not only pay tribute to them, but future generations can learn about one of the many real world consequences of military intervention abroad. As state representative, I am committed to supporting our veterans and ensuring that they have available access to the quality services and care that they need.”
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May 3, 2019 at 06:55AM