Foundation President Calls for Veteran Aide
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Foundation President Calls for Veteran Aide

Date: November 15, 2007
By: Carly Robertson
State Capitol Bureau

Intro: A CBS report just recently released shows in 2005 there were 120 veteran suicides each week. The report came just before a House Committee meeting on Veteran Affairs in which witnesses called for funding to create post-deployment housing. Carly Robertson spoke with one woman who testified and has more. RunTime:
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Dr. Rita Spilken started the Our House Foundation out of Springfield, Missouri.

Spilken testified in front of the Veteran Affairs Committee asking for funding that would allow transitional communities for those soldiers returning from overseas.

 

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Description: "It would mean getting transitional communities up and running and allowing the time and the ability to come back to come to home, better."
 
The transitional housing would give soldiers a place to stay and decompress before returning back into society.

Many veterans along with Spilken testified asking for a one-eighth cent sales tax that would give increased funding to veteran programs.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Carly Robertson.

 


 


Intro: The Missouri Veterans Commission says a decompression phase after soldiers return from combat could cut down on post-traumatic mental issues. Carly Robertson has more from Jefferson City. RunTime:
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Daniel Bell, spokesman for the Missouri Veterans Commission, says the Commission hopes to one day have a gear down phase of about 30 days before soldiers go back into the community.

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Description: "That would give them the chance to actually do testing while they were still in the service and by doing it that way they could possibly get the information straight into the VA system where they could immediately start getting assistance."


 

Interest in the time period when soldiers return home has heightened due to a recent CBS investigation that shows veterans were more than twice as likely to commit suicide than non-veterans in 2005.

Bell says the Commission was not aware of the issue until the CBS investigation and is not sure of the numbers in Missouri.

Scott Perkins with the Department of Mental Health says right now there is a hotline where veterans can call for services but added he has seen a growing interest in trying to coordinate veteran services.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Carly Robertson.