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Biden signs Axne's legislation to help rural veterans with mental health care

Named for Davenport resident Brandon Ketchum
Posted at 1:25 PM, Jul 01, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Biden has signed into law Congresswoman Cindy Axne's legislation to expand mental health care for rural veterans.

The legislation is dubbed the "Sergeant Ketchum Rural Veterans' Mental Health Act." It's named after sergeant Brandon Ketchum who was living in Davenport, Iowa when he took his own life.

His family says he had PTSD and was denied access to mental health services. The bill establishes more mental health programs and looks into the obstacles veterans face.

We talked to Brandon's mom last month who told us she was determined to share her son's story with the hope that other veterans and their families could learn from it.

"I don't care what they have to do, they cannot turn anybody away, that is number one. Number two, I feel that the veterans need to get together to realize that they are not alone," said Beverly Kittoe, Ketchum's mother.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least one in five veterans return from combat with at least one serious mental health condition.