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Congressman Van Drew Introduces Package of Bills to Support Our Nation's Veterans and Their Families

Washington, DC - Congressman Van Drew introduced three pieces of legislation—the Andrew Thomas McCaffrey Green Star Veterans Service Act, the Green Star Families Act, and the Veterans' Telecommunications Protection Act—aimed to bring awareness of veteran suicide and to ease the burden of costs for veterans' organizations.

"Andrew Thomas McCaffrey was a brave and fearless man who served his country in Afghanistan. Far too often, our veterans do not receive the care they need when they return from service, and tragically lose their lives to suicide," said Congressman Van Drew. "The Andrew Thomas McCaffrey Green Stars Veterans Service Act is a tribute to veterans like Andrew McCaffrey and provides a symbol of recognition and support for family members affected by veteran suicide. Each year, we lose thousands of veterans to suicide—we must allocate necessary funding and resources to fight for our veterans when they leave service, just as they have fought for all of us. 

"This package of bills recognizes all of the dedicated and selfless veterans across our nation and will bring awareness to the terrible tragedy of suicide. In Congress, we must invest in our veterans' mental health and provide support to those who have lost their loved ones," added Congressman Van Drew.

"Recognizing the existence of a problem is the first step towards finding a solution. By acknowledging the importance of the Green Star Service Flag, we take the first official step towards addressing the issue of veteran suicide," said Matt Cahill, founder of Green Star Families of America.


Andrew Thomas McCaffrey Green Star Veterans Service Act

  • In memory of Andrew Thomas McCaffrey, who served in Afghanistan, to bring awareness and support for those who have lost loved ones to suicide. 
  • Directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to designate a Green Star Flag for next of kin of veterans who die by suicide. 

Read the text of the bill here

Green Star Families Act

  • Establishes a counseling program through the Veterans Affairs Department for families and caregivers of veterans deceased as the result of suicide, at no cost to them. 

Read the text of the bill here

Veterans' Telecommunications Protection Act

  • Requires providers of cable services and telephone services to charge veterans' organizations residential rates for such services. 
Read the text of the bill here