July 20, 2018

Tampa Bay Times on Senator Hassan Efforts to Support Veterans in Crisis

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, the Tampa Bay Times published an article this week on efforts to establish a “Green Alert System” to help locate missing veterans similar to how Amber Alert systems help the public locate missing children. The article spotlights efforts underway from Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Donald Bolduc of New Hampshire to set up a Green Alert system that spreads the word about a missing veteran or service member via social media.

The article highlights Senator Hassan’s efforts to support veterans in crisis, including legislation she is drafting that would provide federal assistance to states to help them establish Green Alert systems.

See below for highlights of coverage, or click here:

Tampa Bay Times: Can a ‘Green Alert System’ help veterans in crisis?

The first time I met Don Bolduc was in his office in Kabul, where he served as commander of the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command, Afghanistan. He is an Army brigadier general and I was there to talk about operations to improve Afghanistan’s stability. 

Fast-forward five years and Bolduc is now a civilian, but still working on stability. Among other things, he is now focused on service members and veterans in crisis. 

Bolduc is among a small cadre of dedicated individuals who are pushing what they call the "Green Alert System," which is similar to the existing Amber and Silver alerts that hit our cell phones and highway electronic billboards. 

"A lot of veterans, for various reasons, come up missing,’’ Bolduc said. "We are trying to develop some kind of system like there is for the elderly and children."

…Army veteran Robert David Helphrey was 38 when he went missing in Palm Harbor on May 22, 2006. Another veteran, Scott Douglas Hamilton, was 52 when he walked away from the Hillandale Assisted Living Facility in New Port Richey on Feb. 19, 2011. Both men are still missing, authorities told me.

Bolduc’s team’s efforts have spurred U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire to also take the Green Alert System nationwide.

"I am drafting legislation that would provide federal assistance to states to help them establish Green Alert systems," Hassan said in a message to the Tampa Bay Times. "It is a commonsense step we can take to ensure that we can be there for our veterans who have so valiantly served on behalf of us all."  

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By:  Howard Altman
Source: Tampa Bay Times