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Congressman Filner Accuses VA of Covering up Veterans’ Suicide

San Diego Democrat Bob Filner says the Veterans Administration is criminally negligent in not responding to the high number of veterans killing themselves. Jodi Breisler reports from Capitol Hill.

As Chair of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Filner pressured VA leaders at a contentious Capitol Hill hearing. Statistics show that 18 veterans commit suicide each day. Filner says the VA is not facing up to those numbers.

Filner: People are dying from the non-treatment of the psychological wounds of war. And that's what our VA is supposed to do. If they don't admit the severity of the problem, they're not going to have the resources in place to do the job. I think that's negligence. I think it's criminal negligence.

Filner says mentally ill soldiers are also violent toward others- not just themselves. That could be stopped with better treatment and awareness by the Veterans' agency.

From Capitol News Connection in Washington, I'm Jodi Breisler FOR KPBS News.

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