TRIBUTE TO CONRAD JEFFRIES; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 7
(Senate - January 13, 2020)

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[Pages S159-S160]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       TRIBUTE TO CONRAD JEFFRIES

  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, today I honor Idaho veteran Conrad Jeffries 
for his service to our nation and for his efforts to address alarmingly 
high suicide rates in our country, especially among our Nation's 
veterans and servicemembers.
  Conrad knows firsthand the personal costs of military service and the 
challenges servicemembers face returning to civilian life, and he has 
dedicated considerably of his time, talents, and resources to serving 
our country and helping his fellow veterans and military families. On 
January 12, Conrad Jeffries embarked on a more-than 200 mile run from 
Los Angeles to Las Vegas to raise awareness about rising suicide rates 
among veterans, Active-Duty servicemembers, and first responders. I 
understand his running route is intended to honor three sailors who 
committed suicide aboard the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush in September and 
promote the use of suicide screening forms to identify the root causes 
of and prevent veteran suicides. Conrad has said, ``Veteran suicide is 
not the problem. Veteran suicide is the outcome.'' Conrad has 
admittedly faced his own personal struggles and has since dedicated his 
life to solving veteran suicide. This includes working to help others 
who struggle with mental health and substance abuse.
  Conrad, who was raised in American Falls and lives in Boise, ID, 
served our Nation for 13 years in the Idaho Army National Guard and 
U.S. Coast Guard.

[[Page S160]]

His service included deployment with the 116th Combat Brigade and 
attachment to Joint Special Operations where he conducted personal 
security detachment missions as a convoy commander. In 2013, Conrad 
earned Idaho's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year Award.
  I commend Conrad Jeffries for his extraordinary commitment to helping 
others through his actions to end suicide. His candid sharing of his 
experiences and empathy on the topic is instrumental as work continues 
to combat veteran suicide. Suicide prevention, specifically within the 
veteran community, has been one of my priorities in Congress. I co-led 
in the introduction of S. 1594, the Show Esteem and Respect for 
Veterans by Increasing Care and Equity, SERVICE, Act to address the 
alarmingly high veteran suicide rates by allowing veterans open access 
to mental healthcare at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. I also 
joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in asking the U.S. 
Department of Defense, DOD, to look for and explain any gaps in 
addressing the alarmingly high rates of suicide in the National Guard.
  Many well-intended people identify a problem, want to fix it, but get 
bogged down trying. Others, like Conrad, just face the obstacles, plow 
ahead, work hard, and literally ``run'' to fix it. I wish Conrad well 
and thank him for his efforts on behalf of his fellow veterans, 
military families, and all Americans to end veteran suicide.

                          ____________________