Addabbo appreciates military service members at one of his recent Veterans BBQs.
By Forum Staff
Three bills aimed at treating and supporting U.S. military veterans as they return to civilian life recently passed the State Senate, one of the measures’ sponsors announced Friday.
According to State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach), S.2741A allows service members to earn college credits based on experience and training from their military transcript which is recognized and accredited by the American Council on Education.
“I’m pleased we are taking action to help veterans manage mental health issues, earn college credits for applicable training, and raise awareness about veteran suicide,” said Addabbo, sponsor of the legislation.
Additionally, a measure co-sponsored by Addabbo would create a veterans’ mental health and suicide prevention task force to address concerns with the health, safety, and welfare of all returning veterans and the high rate of mental health problems and suicides.
Another bill co-sponsored by Addabbo and passed by the Senate designates Sept. 22 as “Veteran Suicide Awareness and Remembrance Day.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that, on average, 22 veterans commit suicide each day. The rate of suicide among veterans was 1.4 times higher among male veterans and 1.8 times higher among female veterans when compared to the general adult population. This day would honor the fallen and their families by raising awareness that many wounds of war are invisible and persist long after military service ends, Addabbo added.
“It is imperative we recognize the lasting consequences often associated with active military service and ensure [veterans] are provided appropriate resources to successfully return to civilian life,” the senator said.
The bills now head to the Assembly for consideration.