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U.S. Rep. Barry Moore urges Congress to address veterans’ mental health concerns amid Afghanistan-related turmoil

Many have expressed concerns regarding the mental health status of U.S. military veterans due to the ongoing crisis unfolding in war-torn Afghanistan.

In the wake of recent tragedies, U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) is calling on House Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HVAC) chairman Mark Takano to reconvene the committee’s business immediately so it can address the mental and emotional wellbeing of veterans.

Moore joins ranking member Mike Bost (R-IL) and Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) in sending a letter requesting the HVAC chair to conduct a full committee hearing.

The South Alabama congressman believes the chamber must address the issue in a bipartisan fashion which conveys unwavering commitment to supporting those who have served the United States in uniform.

“The American people owe a great debt to our veterans, and Congress cannot let them down during this extremely emotional and painful period,” said Moore. “The House Veterans Affairs Committee must reconvene immediately to examine the impacts of our failed Afghanistan retreat on the mental health of our veterans. Congress must send the clear message to all those who served that their sacrifices will never be forgotten and our joint resolve to support them is unshaken.”

The joint letter reads in part, “As our nation bears witness to President Biden’s failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, out nation’s veterans are being bombarded with devastating images of retreat resulting in the loss of life and liberty. As a result, many veterans have understandably expressed fear, stress, disdain, or regret about their service, worrying if their sacrifices and the loss of their fellow servicemembers occurred in vain.”

It further states that the hearings should include U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dennis Richard McDonough. The congressmen also express the need to make veterans aware of the mental health services that are available to them.

The letter goes on to state, “We must covey to our nation’s veterans that their service and sacrifice have not been in vain, and that despite political failures in Washington, they are heroes that have indeed accomplished their mission in Afghanistan and left the world a better, safer place.”

Veterans of the war in Afghanistan played witness to the country’s capital falling into the hands of Taliban forces just five days after the U.S. military began withdrawal operations. Shortly thereafter, 13 American service members were tragically killed by an ISIS-affiliated suicide bomber. Presently, the United States watches as hundreds of its fellow citizens remain stranded by its own government in a country overrun by Islamic militants.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL