I am a 70-year-old combat disabled Vietnam veteran. I don’t believe our president loves this veteran any more than the 30,000 veterans who have committed suicide during his three years, 11 months in office. 

The following information outlines updates on the status of veterans’ suicide prevention published in Disabled American Veterans and veterans of foreign wars magazines during Trump’s tenure.

The national tragedy of the epidemic of veterans suicide was recognized by the Trump administration as priority No. 5 in Shulkin’s plan.

The national tragedy of the epidemic of veterans suicides was recognized at the onset of this administration and prioritized for change.

A 2018 report from the Government Accountability Office showed that VA officials failed to spend millions of dollars set aside for (veterans) suicide prevention efforts during the previous first year, specifically noting that “leadership turnover and reorganization since 2017” have led to a decrease in suicide prevention media activities” over the past two years.

And since the GAO reprot was made public in December (2018), an alarming number of veterans have committed suicide on the grounds of VA facilities (DAV magazine, Sept.-Oct. 2019). 

In the October 2020 issue of VFW magazine, the president spoke of his plan, unveiled in June of this year, for the “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS).” 

By the time he finishes his term of office, 30,000+ veterans will have committed suicides that he failed to serve as Commander in Chief. It’s one thing to fail while trying, it’s another to fail to try to help when the means are within your power. 

P.R.E.T.E.N.D. (to love and help) would be the anagram to fit this administration’s regard. 

When does PREVENTS intend to end the study and prevent suicide? This man has had a whole term to deal with this tragic issue and the numbers continue. Trump literally is loving veterans to death. 

His rhetoric of using all resources in an aggressive manner translates to the reality of the matter. He failed to even use millions of dollars to spare us the pain of loss of men and women who have offered their all. People who suffer and die on behalf of our country are not losers. 

This president is a loser by my definition, and I hope the polls demonstrate my beliefs. 

God Bless America

Ed Gittens

Brownsville

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