I had the great honor recently of welcoming Tom L’Italien, executive vice president of Team Veteran Foundation, to Augusta as he continues his efforts to eliminate U.S. military veteran deaths by suicide and raise public awareness of this national tragedy.

This is the third year in a row that L’Italien has biked around America with the mission of focusing attention on the seriousness of veterans’ suicides. This year, he biked from Utah to Maine on his 48-day journey.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, on average, suicide claims the lives of 22 military veterans every day, more than 8,000 men and women each year. This devastating statistic demonstrates the need to address this grave issue and to help our service men and women successfully transition back to civilian life.

We should always remember the sacrifices our veterans have made for us. They are willing to put themselves in dangerous situations and risk their lives on a daily basis to protect our country. In return, they deserve the opportunities and support they need to become successful after their military experience.

We need to do so much more for our veterans, and I thank L’Italien for his commitment to raising awareness about this issue.

The incredible work that L’Italien and his organization have done for veterans is truly commendable. It was an honor to recognize L’Italien for all he has done for our veterans. If you’d like to learn more about his organization, please visit ttvfoundation.org.

Rep. Donna Doore


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