In a response posted on The White House’s website Wednesday, Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli wrote that he regretted the policy while serving as Commanding General of the 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq in 2004-05. He wrote, “I lost 169 Soldiers during that year-long deployment. However, the monument we erected at Fort Hood, Texas in memoriam lists 168 names. I approved the request of others not to include the name of the one Soldier who committed suicide. I deeply regret my decision.”
Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley released a statement Wednesday also supporting the change in policy. He wrote, “I strongly support the President’s change of the condolence letter policy, and I share his commitment to removing the stigma associated with the unseen wounds of war. I’ll continue to fight for expanded access to mental health care for all current members of our armed services and the brave veterans who served this country.”
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