According to the White House, the Order provides military veterans with improvements in suicide prevention programs and mental healthcare access, as well as funding for other related projects.
“These provisions to our veterans are long overdue,” Rose says, “based on their plainly-evident need that’s been rapidly growing.
“What has contributed to this growth, sadly, is my opponent’s earlier failure to address them – even rejection of them,” she adds.
“Rep. Tim Scott has openly voted against these specific interests of our military veterans.”
In June 2011, for example, Scott voted against a measure that intended to direct an additional $20 million to programs for veterans’ suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress disorder (H.R. 2055).
An established need to address this circumstance remains, however; every 80 minutes a veteran takes his or her own life, according to the U.S. Dept. of Defense.
“For every one soldier killed in combat, about 25 vets take their own lives,” says Rose.
This need is growing, too, Rose notes, pointing out that the rate of suicides by active U.S. military recently hit a new high – 38 in July 2012 – and the year-to-date rate of this tragedy is up 22 percent compared to the same period from last year.
Her experience working with a suicide prevention program lends her insight to these particular needs.
“While working with (suicide prevention hotline service) Samaritans, we were instructed to never let the phone ring more than twice,” Rose recalls. “It is critical to serve people in this type of crisis immediately and without delay.”
However, recent news reports tell of veterans being put on hold when calling suicide prevention hotlines, and committing suicide while on waiting lists for therapy.
“For these needs to have been ignored – not to mention voted against – by Scott, indicates his lack of representation of our veterans, who make up a sizable portion of constituents in our state, too,” Rose says.
South Carolina is home to over 400,000 military veterans, almost 50,000 of whom have recently served in Afghanistan or Iraq. Over a quarter of all veterans in the state have some type of disability.
“I’m very relieved that veterans can now have substantial improvement in needed service.
“And as the 1st District’s representative, I would never shirk my Congressional duties and put our veterans in the position of having to wait for an executive order to access the help they need and deserve,” Rose promises.