One would help reduce suicides by military veterans.
Annapolis, Md (KM) In order to help decrease the number of suicides by military veterans, Frederick County Delegate Dan Cox (R) is having a bill drafted which would provide more resources for veterans as they readjust to civilian life. He notes that an average of 22 veterans each day take their own lives. “It’s a real sadness going on in our veteran community, and .It needs to stop,” he says. “This would provide further resources for families of veterans, not just veterans themselves. To kind of bring the family as a whole to provide a support structure.”
It would also give “authority to the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Maryland to look at other potential resources available to veterans who may need it, and make sure we don’t forget the needs of our veterans at their time of need,” says Cox.
If the bill passes, resources, such as counseling and psychiatric services, would be available not only to veterans, but their families as well, says Cox.
He says one reason he feels so strongly about this issues is the fact that he has a son is serving in the 82nd Airborne Division.
Another bill Cox is working on would benefit volunteer fire fighters and medics. He says it would allow them to “buy into” the state’s health insurance program. He says right now, many of these men and women work 30 or more hours a week, and they don’t have health insurance unlike other first responders.
If this legislation passes, Cox says it would not be a burden to the state because participation in this “buy into” program by those first responders would be voluntary. “I talked to various different fire departments and it’s unanimous that this would be a help to them,” he says. “Many of them do not have health insurance. So this would be an opportunity for them, if they want it, to pay into the system which would be a benefit to the state to then be able to access that care that’s not currently available.”
Cox says right now, both bills are still in the drafting stage.
By Kevin McManus