Press Releases

WASHINGTON - Today Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) welcomed Jean Somers, mother of Army Sergeant Daniel Somers, as her guest for the State of the Union address.   Mrs. Somers joined her husband, Dr. Howard Somers, who was the guest of Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) for the speech.

“I am honored to host the Somers with Mr. Peters this evening,” said Congresswoman Sinema.  “Their work on behalf of veterans suffering from the mental wounds of war, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury makes a difference in the lives of millions of veterans and their families.”

Congresswoman Sinema also introduced her first piece of legislation in the 114th Congress, the Classified Veterans Access to Care Act, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Somers' son.  Arizona Army Veteran Sgt. Daniel Somers served two tours in Iraq and was diagnosed with both a traumatic brain injury and PTSD upon returning home. He sought treatment from the Phoenix VA, but was tragically unable to get the care he needed. He took his own life in June 2013.

The Classified Veterans Access to Care Act ensures that veterans with classified experiences have appropriate access to mental health services from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill has earned bipartisan support in the House and the endorsement of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Click here to read the text of the bill.

For more information on our work to get care for thousands of Arizona veterans and increase accountability at the Phoenix VA, please visit our Phoenix VA Information Center.