WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding President George W. Bush's signing of H.R.327, the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act:
"I commend President Bush for signing the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act. I am proud to have supported this legislation, and will not forget the testimony of Joshua's parents, Ellen and Randy, before the Veterans' Affairs Committee in April. We cannot bring Joshua back, but we must learn from his tragic death and take action.
"I urge VA to quickly implement the provisions of this newly signed law, in order to improve the Department's suicide prevention practices.
"On the battlefield, one never leaves behind a fallen comrade. Similarly, our veterans should never be left behind by a system whose purpose is to care for them."
The Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act is named after an Iraq war veteran who took his life at the age of 22, after returning from his service. Joshua's parents have worked tirelessly to see this bill enacted into law.
More information on the Omvigs' April 25, 2007 testimony before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee can be found at: