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Senators McSally and Sinema working to prevent veteran suicides

TUCSON- Senators Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema are pressing the Veteran’s Administration to take action and reduce the number of veteran suicides.

In a letter addressed to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie they say about 20 veterans commit suicide each day. According to a recent VA study, about 70 percent of them are not receiving care from the government agency.

“Not anymore I’m not in that cove anymore,” Dawn Lovinggood said.

Dawn Lovinggood is one of those veterans who says she struggled with suicidal thoughts.

“I’ve had three friends that have committed suicide they were all in the military,” Lovinggood said. “I also tried one-time.”

She said she has been on and off the streets and that the transition out of service has been tough.

“It has a lot to do with (what) I thought I did wrong in the war,” Lovinggood said. “That I should have done better. I had a lot of death envy. The people that died over in the war, they were more heroes then I was.”

Another veteran we talked to said he lost his brother who was also a service member to suicide.

“Go to the VA they will help,” Joe Groves said.

His brother served as a marine and was 48-years-old. In Arizona, the “Be Connected” program is working to combat veteran suicides.

Both senators are saying the program should be replicated nationwide.

“I will never do it again I would worry about my children things like that you know,” Lovinggood said.

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Charity Freeman

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