Department of Veterans Affairs

National leader of AMVETS calls for suicide investigation

The veterans group AMVETS called Thursday for an immediate multi-agency investigation into the suicide epidemic among veterans and service members.

Two of the recent  suicides were in Georgia, happening days apart in April.

Friday, April 5, one man shot himself outside a Dublin VA center.

Saturday, another veteran killed himself outside the Decatur VA center.

“We can no longer view these suicides in the abstract, from a statistical perspective, 

and merely lament its prevalence,” AMVETS National Executive Director Joe 

Chenelly said. 

He cited the spate of suicides that occurred at VA medical Centers in Georgia, Texas, and Florida. He called it a national crisis.

Nineteen suicides occurred on VA campuses from October 2017 to November 2018. 

“Many of these suicides appear to be protests of last resort, where healthcare systems, treatment programs, and the underlying cultures of the responsible federal agencies have failed them,” said Chenelly. “We can no longer accept that ‘20 suicides a day’ is the norm and approach this crisis with passive  resignation.” 

AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service 

organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, 

including reservists & guardsmen.