WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Mark Green, veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, introduced an amendment to the FY20 National Defense Authorization Act that’d direct the Department of Defense to assess the availability and usage of the assistance of chaplains, houses of worship and other spiritual resources for members of the Armed Forces of all self-identified religious affiliations in order help counter the tragic rate of military suicides.
“In the past year, the rates of active-duty military suicides have increased dramatically. It is our duty to ensure warriors and veterans are mentally, emotional, and spiritually prepared for war,” said Rep. Mark Green.
“Every commander can tell me how well their equipment is ready to deploy,” continued Green. “Things like marksmanship, and training on various maneuver tasks are all measured. But I am confident not a single commander in the military could measure the spiritual readiness of those soldiers who self-identify as spiritual or religious. The data is clear, treating spiritual wounds can save lives.”
Green testified on this topic in the Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security last month.
The commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps has echoed similar sentiments in a recent letter.
Reports show we lose 20 service members and veterans every single day. The rate rose 20% among active duty soldiers in 2018.