A veteran shot himself in front of hundreds of witnesses at a Veterans Affairs Department (VA) hospital in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, the US Military Times reported on April 11.
According to local US media reports, long after the incident, there were still many people in the hospital building who did not know what had happened. An old soldier told the US media: The news that everyone, including staff, had to leave the building suddenly came from the walkie-talkie, which was unexpected to everyone. After all veterans were told to leave the building, the hospital was closed for investigation.
Steve Hernandez, head of McLennan Countys Veterans Affairs Department, said the veteran was a patient who had participated in a treatment program at Olin E. Teague Veterans Medical Center in Temple, but was somehow excluded and then transferred to a hospital in Austin.
When he found himself unable to get the help he needed, he chose to end his life, Hernandez said.
It is reported that the number of suicides in the facilities of the Veterans Affairs Department is increasing, but many VA facilities are still not equipped with metal detectors, and most of them still use the outsourcing method for security checks.
It is reported that from October 2017 to November 2018, a total of 19 veterans committed suicide in the VA medical facility of the U.S. government. Many people believe that these veterans are protesting against the failure of the country to provide them with complete medical services.
Less than a week ago, two Georgian veterans committed suicide outside VA Hospital.
Jack Swope, one of the professional consultants in Austin, said: Suicide is too easy for veterans because they are not only familiar with weapons, but also with their use.
According to reports, the US Department of Veterans Affairs claims that suicide prevention is their top priority, but the number of suicides among veterans has never declined. In December last year, the Government Accountability Bureau reported that less than 1% of the $6.2 million budget allocation for suicide prevention actually ended up spending, which attracted strong criticism from the media.