Biden Administration proposes increase in VA budget
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – The Biden Administration has requested nearly $270 billion dollars for the Department of Veterans Affairs budget next year, a 10% increase from this year’s budget.
It’s a problem that Miranda Briggs and thousands of other families have tragically been through, a suicidal veteran not finding help and ultimately taking their own life. Briggs lost her husband, Army Ranger Garret Briggs, to suicide in 2018.
“We’re really seeing that there aren’t enough providers for these veterans looking for help,” she said.
“My husband came forward for care, both during active duty and as a veteran. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the care that he needed with what he was struggling with.”
The budget includes increases for mental health care and programs for homeless veterans, while also doubling the budget for suicide prevention programs. All pinpointing the signs depression, where to get help and have more staff available.
“When veterans commit suicide, it doesn’t just effect the veterans,” said Sam Fiala, psychologist with Texas A&M Central Texas.
“It effects their families and the communities they live in. One of the best predictors of suicide is hopelessness and this can be in most areas of your life. So, if things with your family aren’t going well, you’re unemployed, that increases the risk.”
Providing potential life-saving care for our nation’s heroes, something that Briggs and her program, fight the war within foundation, hopes congress will approve.
“I really think that with cases like my husband’s, we can try to make changes for those that’re still here fighting,” she said.
“It can’t always be the easiest topic to talk about but, his life matters. I know that so many other service members that he served with are still going through this.”
Congress will now begin the process of discussing potential changes to the budget with the goal to finalize it by October 1.
Copyright 2021 KWTX. All rights reserved.