Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act:
“Clay Hunt was a good man and a good Marine. After being wounded in Iraq, he again answered the call of duty for a second tour in Afghanistan, demonstrating his courage and his desire to serve his country. But when he got home, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed him. Though he struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his combat experiences, Clay endured a backlog in the VA. They didn’t help him in time, and he was overcome by his depression.
“According to the VA, 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Each and every one of these deaths is a tragedy that our country cannot accept. Today, the House voted to reform the VA by encouraging more health care professionals to serve in the VA, centralizing information regarding all mental health services in the department, and increasing accountability on the VA’s mental health and suicide prevention practices.
“No veterans should ever lack access to mental health care or feel abandoned by the agency created to care for them. We must honor Clay’s memory by fixing the broken system and serving those veterans who have suffered wounds serving us.”