WASHINGTON D.C. (News4Utah)- A Texas congressman is introducing legislation in memory of his classmate– a veteran who took his own life after he left the service.
It’s been a year, but Texas Republican congressman Jodey Arrington remembers every detail.
“He was strong, he was tough, and he was a warrior’s warrior.”
His friend and classmate, Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Bill Mulder, took his own life.
Arrington says Mulder struggled to adjust to life at home after he left the service.
“We didn’t know…no one knew,” he said.
His bill would devote more money to helping veterans prepare for and adjust to civilian life.
The Transition Improvement Act of 2018 would target active duty service members one year before they return home. The bill provides money for job training. It also would connect them with support organizations within their communities.
Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke –a co-sponsor—says the bill would pair active duty soldiers with a counselor to help them throughout their frequently difficult transition.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 veterans take their lives every single day.
“It is literally going to save lives and give those lives greater purpose and function and ability to contribute to the greater success of this country,” O’Rourke said.
Arrington says he hopes to bring the bill to the House Floor in the next few weeks.
“We don’t want to wait until they are homeless or they are suicidal…we want to get with them on the front end and earlier,” he said.