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Trump signs executive order to prevent veteran suicides

By Danielle Haynes
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Trump signs executive order to prevent veteran suicides
President Donald Trump signs an Executive Order concerning the suicides of military veterans, at the White House, on Tuesday. Witnessing are Arizona Coalition for Military Families Thomas Winkel, second right, and Senate Sgt. at Arms Frank Larkin (R), whose US Navy SEAL son, Ryan, killed himself. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI | License Photo

March 5 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump promised to make American veterans' mental health a priority for his administration Tuesday before signing an executive order aiming to prevent veteran suicides.

He signed the President's Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide -- or PREVENT -- order in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

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It creates a task force led by Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to bring down the suicide rate of veterans through a collaboration between federal agencies and private-sector partners. It also will award grants to community outreach programs.

The VA said an average of 20 veterans die from suicide each day.

"To every veteran, I want you to know that you have an entire nation of more than 300 million people behind you. You will never ever be forgotten, we are with you all the way," the president said before signing the order. "Supporting veterans in distress is a critical priority for our entire administration."

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