Written by Jonah Phaneuf for the Press-Republican on July 13, 2020

TO THE EDITOR: As a future U.S. Army officer, and as a grandson to a veteran, my heart lies strongly with those military personnel who have served this nation only to retire and face mental health issues.

According to a report conducted by the Department of Veteran affairs, on average, 20 veterans die from suicide daily. This statistic is hardly half of it. Everyday military personnel are forgotten about by certain government officials. I am proud to say that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is not one of those officials.

Elise recently secured funding for our military men and women in the North Country, which ultimately led to a pay raise for our troops stationed at Fort Drum, along with requiring the Department of Defense to establish a new way for the government to evaluate mental illness present in some military personnel.

Not only is Elise supporting our military financially, but also granted those military personnel who face mental health issues assistance and a path to recovery. Each month Congresswoman Stefanik continues to advocate for policies to protect and strengthen Fort Drum and help our veterans and provide for our military families, from granting more retirement pay for our veterans to providing benefits to those families who have had a fallen service member.

Although my grandfather is no longer with us, he would still stand by his phrase, “Veterans for Elise” and I proudly carry that message today.



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