On Tuesday, a veteran patient at a Veterans Affairs clinic in Austin Texas, reportedly shot and killed himself in the waiting room in front of "hundreds" of people.
The incident at the VA Austin Outpatient Clinic reportedly took place in the waiting room, in front of "hundreds of witnesses" J.D. Simkins reported for Military Times.
Some patients were unaware that anything was amiss, with KXAN, a local Austin MSNBC news affiliate reporting that a group therapy session continued for "nearly an hour" before patients realized what had happened. "All of a sudden, over the intercom, they have this statement about everyone must clear the building including staff, so it was a little surprising," Ken Walker, a patient there, told KXAN.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the loved ones affected by this untimely death," Deborah Meyer, a spokesperson with the Austin VA clinic told Task & Purpose. "Due to patient privacy concerns, we will not be discussing the specifics of this case. Any time an unexpected death occurs, we review our policies and procedures to see if changes are warranted."
Though the VA prohibits firearms on their grounds, the Austin facility doesn't have metal detectors, according to KWTX 10.
The facility will now be enforcing "100% bag checks until further notice," Meyer told Task & Purpose.
The clinic shut down Tuesday as investigators and local law enforcement were called in, KCTV 5 News reported. It has since reopened.
Based on a VA fact sheet for veterans in the southern region of the United States, 530 Texas veterans committed suicide in 2016. In 2016 "the suicide rate was 1.5 times greater for veterans than for non-veteran adults, after adjusting for age and gender" according to a September, 2018 VA study that looked at national suicide statistics from 2005 to 2016.
The Austin clinic is offering crisis counseling today, and Saturday April 13, 2019 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Representatives with the Veterans Crisis Line are available 24 hours a day by dialing 1-800-273-8255, and pressing 1 to talk to someone. Text messages can be sent to 838255 to connect directly with a VA responder.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer took the reins at the Pentagon on Monday, becoming the third acting defense secretary since January.
Spencer is expected to temporarily lead the Pentagon while the Senate considers Army Secretary Mark Esper's nomination to succeed James Mattis as defense secretary. The Senate officially received Esper's nomination on Monday.
U.S. Special Operations Command may be on the verge of making the dream of flying infantry soldiers a reality, but the French may very well beat them to it.
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron shared an unusual video showing a man on a flying platform — widely characterized as a "hoverboard" — maneuvering through the skies above the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris armed with what appears to be a dummy firearm.
The video was accompanied with a simple message of "Fier de notre armée, moderne et innovante," which translates to "proud of our army, modern and innovative," suggesting that the French Armed Forces may be eyeing the unusual vehicle for potential military applications.
If such experiments took place, the amendment would require the inspector general's office to tell lawmakers if any of the ticks or other bugs "were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design."
There's no one path to military service. For some, it's a lifelong goal, for others, it's a choice made in an instant.
For 27-year-old Marine Pvt. Atiqullah Assadi, who graduated from Marine Corps bootcamp on July 12, the decision to enlist was the culmination of a journey that began when he and his family were forced to flee their home in Afghanistan.
The Air Force has administratively separated the Nellis Air Force Base sergeant who was investigated for making racist comments about her subordinates in a video that went viral last year, Task & Purpose has learned.