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Senator Wyden: Oregonians should be concerned about high rate of veteran suicides

Senator Ron Wyden in studio, November 11, 2017. (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. -- One of the members of the US Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden, stopped by our studio Saturday.

In response to President Trump's remarks Saturday, he says the comments on the committee are stunning.

"In effect, it seems that the President said nothing here, nothing to worry about, and Ronald Reagan put it pretty well - he said you can trust, but you got to verify. And the idea that we'll just take the word of Mr. Putin, when our own intelligence leadership has now said repeatedly that the Russians meddled in the election and were working to favor the president," Wyden said, "I thought that statement was really stunning."

On Veterans Day Saturday, the democratic senator also said he's making it a special priority to ensure that veterans are taken care of through a G.I. Bill and the Fairness Act, particularly in Oregon, and especially with the large presence of the Guard and Reserve.

Wyden says something that should concern Oregonians is the high rate of suicide, especially among older veterans.

"We are actually well above the national average," Wyden said. "We have a special problem with our women vets, and suicide rates are escalating. There are a lot of factors there, in much of Oregon. We love our rural communities; a lot of those vets are isolated so i'm focused on that."

The senator held his last town hall of 2017 on Friday at Junction City High School.

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