Granite Staters from all walks of life will benefit from the Republican budget passed last month and I am proud to say that New Hampshire’s Veterans will be amongst that long list. No group of individuals displays the same level of commitment to our nation and its principles than members of our armed services. When the call of duty arose, they stood to protect, defend, and make the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. We as a country can never truly repay their sacrifices and devotion, but we can ensure they receive the quality services that they deserve. The Republican budget does that by giving support to veterans mental health.

The Covid-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on mental health as millions grappled with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Unfortunately, this disproportionately impacted our veterans community who experience mental illness and suicide rates significantly higher than the general population. No one should have to feel the loneliness experienced by many that were isolated during the pandemic, let alone our veterans. The soldiers’ creed says “I will never leave a fallen comrade”, we as legislators must honor that commitment to the ones still here and in need of our help. The Republican budget honors this and makes a significant investment in supporting veterans experiencing the effects of social isolation by appropriating $1.5 million to the Veterans Administration for expanded mental health care access. The people that defend our freedoms should never feel alone in their most urgent time of need.