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White House Reverses Condolence Letter Policy For Military Suicides

July 7, 2011 by  

White House Reverses Condolence Letter Policy For Military Suicides

According to a senior Administration official, the White House recently changed its policy of not sending condolence letters to the families of military service members who commit suicide.

“The move comes nearly six weeks after a group of senators — 10 Democrats and one Republican — asked President Barack Obama to change what they called an ‘insensitive’ policy that dates back several administrations and has been the subject of protest by some military families,” an article on CNN.com reported.

“Unfortunately, perpetuating a policy that denies condolence letters to families of service members who die by suicide only serves to reinforce this stigma by overshadowing the contributions of an individual’s life with the unfortunate nature of his or her death. It is simply unacceptable for the United States to be sending the message to these families that somehow their loved ones’ sacrifices are less important,” the unnamed official’s statement to CNN reportedly said.

“The president feels strongly that we need to destigmatize the mental health costs of war to prevent these tragic deaths, and changing this policy is part of that process.”

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