Press Releases

Hoosier father describes Joe as a “life-saver” for authoring servicemember mental health law named for his son in new ad

Joe for Indiana released its ninth TV ad, “Jacob,” a powerful direct-to-camera sixty-second ad featuring Barb and Jeff Sexton, Hoosiers whose son Jacob is the namesake for Joe’s Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act.

The ad is part of a six-figure statewide ad buy. A full script and backup for the ad are available HERE.

In 2013, Joe introduced the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act, named after Jacob Sexton, a Farmland native and member of the Indiana National Guard who took his own life while on leave after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe was inspired to craft the bill after speaking with Jeff and Barb, who later went to Washington to help Joe advocate for the bill.

Signed into law in 2014 and fully implemented as of last year, the Act guarantees for the first time that every single member of the military – active duty, reserve, and National Guard – receives an annual mental health assessment to guarantee that they’re receiving the care they may need. The year the bill was written, 475 members of the military took their own lives.

In the ad, Jeff and Barb discuss what Joe’s decision to work with them and fight for legislation that honors the memory of their son meant to them, as well as the difference the Sexton Act has begun making. Joe’s efforts to reach across the aisle and put people before partisan politics helped get the Sexton Act signed into law as part of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act and improve mental health services for the men and women who serve our nation.

“Senator Donnelly, to me, is a life saver. He feels what the people feel,” Jeff Sexton says in the ad. “This legislation has already saved lives.”

“Jeff and Barb Sexton are the embodiment of Hoosier values, and it’s an honor to tell their story,” said Will Baskin-Gerwitz, Communications Director for Joe for Indiana. “They took their unimaginable grief and worked with Joe to turn it into a law that will have a positive impact on millions of men and women in our armed forces for years to come. Our new ad reminds voters that Joe fights every day for hard-working Hoosiers like Jeff and Barb, and he’ll never stop working to make a difference for them in Washington.”