President Trump prides himself on being a pro-military president. Speaking to reporters in November 2018, he stated, “Nobody’s done more for the military than me.” Unlike his predecessor, President Trump has sought from day one to build the U.S. armed forces, remaining highly supportive and wildly encouraging of our service men and women throughout his tenure in office.
As part of his effort to build “by far the strongest military in the world,” President Trump has gone to bat for our troops. In September 2018, the president appropriated $674 billion for 2019 defense spending, including a 2.6 percent pay raise for troops, 93 new F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighters, 142 Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, and 13 Navy battle force ships.
On the home front, President Trump has signed the MISSION Act, which is intended to significantly improve veterans’ access to VA healthcare, and secured the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in Korea so that they may be returned to family in remembrance of their sacrifice during the Forgotten War.
While only veterans can truly gauge the magnitude of President Trump’s pro-military agenda, the evidence seems to indicate that the president has had the backs of those who have had his. It is in the spirit of gratitude that our commander-in-chief now seeks to protect the lives of those who have protected ours.
On March 5, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order with the intent to wage war against veteran suicide.
Signing the executive order surrounded by military families, he stated, “Veterans’ suicide is a tragedy of staggering proportions,” adding “Today we can help end this crisis.”
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), an average of 20 veterans commit suicide per day in the United States, which is two times greater than those who have not served in the military. Veterans account for 8 percent of the population, but 14 percent of all suicides. This is an epidemic. Veterans are struggling to find at home that which they are fighting for overseas.
President Trump’s executive order is being referred to as the PREVENTS initiative, according to a report over at Fox News. PREVENTS is an acronym for “President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide.” This new initiative will ultimately create a nationwide task force designed to raise awareness of the issue. Similar to the Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing program, PREVENTS will grant funding for state and local programs that make efforts to prevent veteran suicide.
From superb economic growth to the successful renegotiation of foreign trade deals, President Trump’s executive resume is teaming with accomplishments to boast during his 2020 reelection campaign. But, at this point, The Great Negotiator’s sparkling achievement is the renegotiation of America’s commitment to her military.
I’ve written in the past that I believe America’s service men and women to be the greatest Americans who ever lived. I am proud to see my president affirm our nation’s gratitude and investment in its military. U.S. soldiers are the toughest, roughest, most badass men and women to walk the earth. After personally crushing the skulls of some of the most deplorable, despicable enemies America has ever had the privilege of obliterating, our warriors return home to civilian life where even foreign-sympathizers like “Hanoi” Jane Fonda can’t stifle the love and respect Americans have for their heroes.
Our veterans have fought for us overseas, sacrificing their time, their health, and their relationships with loved ones out of pure adoration for this beautiful country. These men and women risked their lives to serve America’s interests abroad and to preserve the freedom of strangers back home whom they may never meet, by whom they may never be thanked personally. It’s time to return the favor.
According to Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Musil, a major contributing factor to veteran suicide is a feeling of isolation, of being alone. President Trump just fired the first shot of America’s latest war. When our veterans return home, a new battle awaits.
This time, we’re here to fight it with them.