I am excited to share that legislation I co-led, the Sergeant Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act, was signed into law this week. This bipartisan legislation that I helped introduced alongside Congresswoman Cindy Axne (IA-03) will improve access to mental health care for veterans in rural areas.
Sergeant Brandon Ketchum of Davenport, Iowa, served our country overseas, and like too many of our servicemembers, struggled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) when he returned home. Sergeant Ketchum sought help at a VA facility in Davenport, but was turned away. Shortly after, he tragically took his own life.
Unfortunately, Sergeant Ketchum's story is not unique. Veterans in rural areas face serious barriers to receiving mental health care. No veteran, regardless of their zip code, should ever be turned away when they seek help. Our bipartisan legislation, named in Sergeant Ketchum's honor, will help ensure that those who served our country honorably have access to the mental health care services they need when they return home. This is a meaningful step in the right direction to ensure that our veterans can receive the help they deserve, regardless of where they live.
I am so proud that this bill was signed into law this week, and know it will help veterans in Iowa and across the country. I will always work across the aisle on behalf of Iowa's veterans.
Read on for more information about my week in Washington!