The U.S. Senate will vote Tuesday on a bill named for a Houston area veteran who took his own life and is now being called “the other American sniper.”
The movie that’s drawing so many people to the box office is bringing a whole lot of attention to an epidemic that has affected so many families.
A family in Houston, who knows the pain all too well, is hoping they can turn this into a positive for veterans returning from war.
Twenty-eight-year-old Clay Hunt took his own life at his Sugar Land apartment back in 2011.
The combat veteran sniper struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt over the deaths of four friends after returning from Iraq.
This new bill proposed in Hunt’s honor would require the Pentagon and the Veterans Affiars to submit independent reviews of their suicide prevention programs and make information on suicide prevention more easily available to veterans.
Hunt’s parents are hopeful it will remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
“You never dream that a child will commit suicide. You just can’t imagine things getting that bad you know,” Stacy Hunt, Clay’s father, said.
Veterans account for one out of every five suicides in the U.S.
The bill that could be passed orders the VA department to find money for suicide-prevention programs within its $154 billion budget.