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Lawmakers call on VA to support Afghanistan vets after withdrawal

A group of bipartisan lawmakers are calling on the Section of Veterans Affairs to swiftly hook up Afghanistan veterans with mental wellbeing products and services pursuing the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn nation, which noticed 13 US services customers killed very last 7 days.

The team, designed up of 34 bipartisan senators, despatched their ask for to Denis McDonough, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, on Tuesday, the deadline of the withdrawal.

“More than two million veterans served for the duration of the Worldwide War on Terrorism, such as extra than 800,000 in Afghanistan, and these provider customers deserve and attained the aid that they want,” the lawmakers wrote.

“We recognize the VA’s dedication to furnishing mental wellbeing products and services to all veterans and request, in gentle of the present-day problem, that the Section speed up its endeavours to offer resources — to veterans of these current conflicts.”

Led by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the senators questioned the VA to “quickly create a comprehensive outreach plan” to assist veterans who served in Afghanistan.

In the letter, the senators acknowledged that the VA experienced sent out digital backlinks to veterans “encouraging them to search for help if they are suffering from distress connected to their support in Afghanistan.”

Senators demand Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough “accelerate” mental wellness services for veterans.
Getty Photographs

Even so, the lawmakers urged the VA to go additional, citing that veterans ages 18 to 34 have the best suicide level among the services associates although the department’s veteran suicide avoidance annual report has indicated that “veterans, such as individuals who served in Afghanistan, do not use veterans health and fitness administration products and services aimed at reducing suicidal ideation and suicide makes an attempt.”

The senators instructed the VA proactively call veterans in the coming months by means of digital correspondence, social media, cellular phone phone calls, textual content messages and more.

“As a nation, we have to keep the physical and psychological wellbeing of our veterans at the forefront of our minds and efforts,” they wrote, afterwards incorporating, “We need to fulfill our obligation to individuals who served and hardly ever forget about their sacrifices.”

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa
CQ-Roll Connect with, Inc by way of Getty Imag

The bipartisan letter arrives just after the US taken out all remaining troops in Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war, which lasted 19 yrs and 47 months, cost some $2 trillion and took the life of approximately 2,500 US troops and about 240,000 Afghans.

Amid the withdrawal, Afghanistan was taken above by the Taliban, prompting 1000’s of People in america and Afghan allies to flee the nation.

US troops served evacuate 79,000 civilians on US military aircraft considering the fact that Aug. 14 — like 6,000 Us citizens and 73,500 Afghans and 3rd-state citizens, in accordance to US officers.

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan
Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire

Evacuation attempts were being briefly halted last Thursday when an ISIS-K suicide bomb assault shook the Kabul airport, killing 13 US support users and practically 200 Afghans. Evacuation flights resumed Friday morning.

A number of hundred Us residents continue being in the embattled region adhering to the withdrawal, according to the Pentagon.

“VA gained the letter from congressional management and is in the system of responding,” VA press secretary Terrence Hayes instructed The Write-up.

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