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Representative Mary Sattler Peltola calls for preserving provisions of the Don Young Arctic Warrior Act in National Defense Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. – This week, Representative Mary Sattler Peltola signed on to a letter urging colleagues in both chambers to retain funding aimed at helping improve the quality of life for service members stationed in Alaska as well as preventing suicide across the military in next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

Peltola joined California Representative Jackie Speier in the letter along with Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. 

“Don Young was committed to ensuring that Alaska’s service members and their families had the support and resources necessary to do their jobs. I’m pleased to pick up the torch and continue where he left off,” said Peltola. “Preserving the provisions of the Don Young Arctic Warrior Act in next year’s NDAA is critical to easing many of the hardships that thousands of Alaskan service members face each year.” 

The lawmakers expressed a major concern with a shortfall in behavioral health services in the military citing an increase in the suicide rate for active-duty service members of 40 percent over the past 5 years.

“We have met extensively with service members, military spouses, and behavioral health providers based in Alaska in the wake of a doubling of deaths by suicide by soldiers stationed in Alaska in 2021 as compared to 2020,” the letter states. “The following provisions are intended to address these risk factors and support the services’ ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for service members in Alaska, while also addressing the military-wide need for additional behavioral health providers.”