Joe Donnelly launches ‘Veterans for Joe’ with rally in Indianapolis
INDIANAPOLIS – Joe Donnelly, Hoosier veterans, military families, and advocates for the veterans community today launched ‘Veterans for Joe’ with a rally at the Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis to discuss how he has advocated for veterans in the Senate.
Approximately 40 Hoosier veterans and advocates attended today’s event, including:
- Jeff Sexton, a Farmland resident and advocate for the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act;
- Teri Rose, a Gold Star Mother and veterans advocate from Kokomo;
- and Tim Jeffers, an Iraq War veteran and Special Adviser to the Design Team for the National Desert Storm Memorial.
As a constituency group, ‘Veterans for Joe’ will help inform, persuade, and mobilize Hoosiers throughout the election. Joe and his campaign will work with founding members and those who join in the coming months to focus on issues that matter around the state through direct voter contact, media opportunities, and in-person events.
Throughout his time in the Senate, Joe has been a champion for veterans:
- In 2013, Joe introduced the Jacob Sexton Military Suicide Prevention Act, named after Jacob Sexton, a National Guardsman who took his own life while on leave. Passed into law as part of the FY 2015 NDAA and now fully implemented, the bill guarantees that every single member of the military – active duty, reserve, and national guard – will have annual mental health care assessments to ensure they receive the care they need.
- In 2015, Joe introduced his Servicemember and Veteran Mental Health Care Package, a trio of bipartisan bills addressing mental health care for servicemembers and veterans. The three bills were signed into law as part of the FY 2016 and FY 2017 NDAAs.
- In 2017, Joe and Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced the VA Prescription Data Accountability Act that allowed that VA to share data with state drug monitoring programs for patients who are prescribed opioids by VA providers. The bill was signed into law in November 2017.
- In 2013, Joe and Senator John Boozman (R-AR) introduced a bill to create a national memorial to Desert Storm veterans in Washington D.C. The bill was signed into law as part of the FY 2015 NDAA. A site for the memorial on the National Mall was announced last month.
- In 2017, Joe and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced a bill to designate March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. This bill was the first federal statute recognizing Vietnam War veterans. It was signed into law in March 2017.
“Hoosier veterans have put their lives on the line to defend our nation, and they deserve a government that keeps its promises to them after they take off the uniform. That means looking after not only their physical health but their mental health as well, guaranteeing they can retire with dignity, and making sure they receive the recognition they deserve,” said Joe Donnelly. “With the help of ‘Veterans for Joe’ in every corner of the state, I know we can make sure that our Hoosier servicemembers, veterans and their families will have a champion in Washington.”
“I’m proud to be a member of ‘Veterans for Joe’ because Joe’s always had the back of those who sacrifice for our country like my son, and now it’s our turn to have his. Whether it’s working to increase mental health care options or ensuring Vietnam and Desert Storm veterans get the recognition they deserve, he’s working every day to improve the lives of Hoosier veterans,” said Teri Rose, a Gold Star Mother and Kokomo resident. “He’s the hired help for Indiana’s veterans, and we need to keep him in the Senate fighting for them.”