News Releases

Monday, April 8, 2019

Isakson Responds to Suicide Deaths of Two Veterans in Georgia

Offers condolences to family members, vows to redouble suicide prevention efforts

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today released the following statement regarding two veteran suicides at two U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities in Georgia:

“I was saddened to learn of the suicide deaths of two veterans at two VA medical centers in our state. My prayers are with the families and loved ones of these two veterans. I am in touch with the VA as investigations into each incident are ongoing, but these are tragedies that we hear about far too often. While we have taken a number of steps to address and prevent veteran suicide, this weekend’s tragic deaths clearly indicate that we must do better.

“We will redouble our efforts on behalf of our veterans and their loved ones, including our efforts to reduce the stigma of seeking treatment for mental health issues. The loss of even one veteran to suicide is unacceptable and devastating. Preventing veteran suicide remains a top priority for our committee, and I will continue working with VA Secretary Robert Wilkie to ensure the VA has the resources it needs and the accountability in place to make sure we are doing everything we can to prevent veteran suicide.”

According to the VA, a veteran committed suicide on Friday, April 5, in a parking lot at the Dublin, Ga., VA medical center. In a second incident on Saturday, April 6, a veteran committed suicide outside the main entrance of the Atlanta VA medical center.

Resources on suicide prevention from the VA can be found here.

NOTE: Media should contact VA deputy assistant secretary for public affairs James Hutton at James.Hutton@va.gov for more specific information on these cases.

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The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 116th Congress. Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the armed services as well as nearly 700,000 veterans.