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Congress Tries to Reduce Veterans Suicides

Iowa 2nd District Congressman, Dave Loebsack

The VA would be required to provide psychiatric care to any veteran who asks for it under a bill introduced in Congress. 

It's called the Sergeant Brandon Ketchum Never Again Act, and is named for a Quad Cities veteran who committed suicide after being turned away from the VA medical center in Iowa City when he asked for help. 

One of the sponsors is Iowa Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack. Currently an estimated 20 veterans a day kill themselves, and he hopes his bill will reduce that number. 

"That person should never ever be denied in-patient services and a bed. And if the VA facility can't accommodate them, it would according to the bill, if the VA doesn't have a bed available, they need to find one."

Loebsack says it's not entirely clear what happened when Ketchum asked for help - the VA's inspector general is still investigating.

The bill has 40 co-sponsors from both parties and many states across the country. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.