This week members of the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to honor an Afghan war veteran.
U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-4) put a bill forward to honor Sgt. John Toombs, according to a press release his office released Tuesday.
The bill designates Murfreesboro’s Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Facility at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Alvin C. York Medical Center in Murfreesboro as the Sergeant John Toombs Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Facility.
The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a bipartisan vote, said DesJarlais spokesman Brendan Thomas.
“Sgt. Toombs, an Afghan War veteran who suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, sought counseling for his disorder, as well as addiction treatment, at his local VA facility,” Thomas said.
In November 2016, as Thomas’ press release went on to say, Toombs committed suicide on facility grounds.
The press release quoted DesJarlais.
“He was a war veteran. He was a constituent,” said DesJarlais, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“I’ve worked closely with David Toombs, his father, to recognize his son’s struggles and to prevent another tragic ending like John’s.”
DesJarlais went on to say suicide and substance abuse problems affect a disproportionate number of U.S. military veterans.
“We need to give them our full support, whether they’re fighting for our country abroad or fighting to recover when they return home,” DesJarlais said.
“Many families, like the Toombs, have suffered personal losses, and this designation will symbolize our continuing commitment to helping them and their loved ones receive the support they need.”
DesJarlais met at the York Campus last month with Jennifer Vedral-Baron, Director of the VA’s Tennessee Valley Health Care System, to discuss Toombs’ case, his legislation, and efforts to improve veterans’ physical and mental care, according to the press release.
DesJarlais recently voted for the VA MISSION Act to eliminate bureaucratic overlap within the system, improve hiring and retention of quality medical staff, and to remove limitations on private care, Thomas said.
This year the Department of Veterans Affairs announced funding for a new veteran’s home in Bradley County.
“This Congress is focused squarely on providing the best tools, training and care for our military members, including veterans. It is my highest duty and highest honor to work on their behalf,” DesJarlais said.
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