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Rep. Napolitano Welcomes White House Decision to Send Condolence Letters for Military Suicides

July 6, 2011
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano welcomed news that the Obama administration had reversed a decades-old policy and will now send letters of condolence to the families of soldiers who die by suicide.

“We have allowed this stigma against suicide to remain in place for far too long,” Napolitano said. “The wounds of recent wars have been mental as often as they have been physical, and the families of soldiers who have died by suicide deserve to have the contributions of their loved one recognized and respected with a presidential condolence letter. I salute the president and his administration for overturning this regressive policy.”

Napolitano was the lead Democrat working alongside Rep. Dan Burton to overturn the policy. Last year they introduced a House resolution calling for the families of military servicemembers who have died by suicide to receive recognition, and they sent a formal letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates requesting the change.

Napolitano is the Co-Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus.

Letter to Sec. Gates:


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