The U.S. Veterans Hospice Committee has its CARE FOR OUR HEROES petition campaign underway nationwide to shine a light on the crisis America’s homeless veterans with terminal illnesses face. This is a tough battle, but the U.S. Veterans Hospice Committee is committed to advocating for more hospice care for the men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. The petition campaign is starting to garner attention on Capitol Hill as we have started personally delivering boxes and boxes to U.S. Senate offices.
Because of the support we have received from our supporters, the U.S. Veterans Hospice Committee has been able to move into a small, shared office in Washington, D.C. Our office is two blocks from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (the “VA”), three blocks from the White House, and a short cab ride to the U.S. Capitol.
According to the Pentagon, a record number of military suicides occurred in 2012, with 349 active duty service members taking their own lives. This is a 16 percent increase from 2011, and also the highest incidence reported since the Department of Defense began tracking suicides in 2001.
David Rudd, a military suicide researcher and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Utah, said he sees two main categories of troops who are committing suicide at an accelerating pace: Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress or substance abuse, and those who have not gone to war but face troubled personal relationships, money problems or legal woes.