Lautenberg touts continued funding for veterans' helpline

“The Department of Defense has made an important commitment to continue the Vets4Warriors program and keep in place this critical lifeline for veterans,” Lautenberg said Wednesday. “This helpline is a valuable resource for veterans because it connects them with peers who understand the rigors of combat and the challenges of returning home.”

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Vets4Warriors is a helpline for veterans and their families that allows recently returned vets to talk with other vets about problems they're having when they return. The program aims to prevent suicide and other problems returning veterans might have by speaking with someone else who’s been through a similar situation.

“The number of service members who have taken their own lives is deeply troubling, and I remain committed to providing our service members and veterans with the help they need to prevent future tragedies,” said Lautenberg, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Lautenberg cited reports that nearly 2,400 service members on active duty have committed suicide between 2001 and 2011. This year, suicides among service members reached an all-time high with an average of one suicide a day, causing lawmakers to more actively address the concerns of veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.