Health & Exercise

New ‘Green Alert’ To Help Find Missing, At-Risk Veterans

A new public notification similar to Indiana’s Amber Alert will soon help first responders locate missing and at-risk veterans thanks to efforts supported by Allen County legislators.

A new law, which passed during the 2024 legislative session, will create a Green Alert to notify the public that a veteran or military service member is reported missing and believed to be at risk of being hurt or hurting themselves. The alert will function similarly to the state’s successful Amber Alert for missing children and Silver Alert for missing seniors.

“Our military and our veterans face a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors than the general public, which adds to the concern when one of these heroes goes missing,” said State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne). “Veterans have gone through events that many of us could not imagine, and we hope this Green Alert helps send the message that we care about them and help and hope are available.”

A Green Alert could be issued by the Indiana State Police for veterans, active service members, Indiana National Guard members and reservists within 48 hours of the individual being reported missing. Like other alerts, the notification will include a description and last known location of the individual and if they are considered at-risk to themselves or others.

“With this alert, Indiana is demonstrating its commitment to helping our struggling veterans and service members,” said State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne). “By establishing a public alert system, we can more quickly find those who go missing and reunite them with their loved ones.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Indiana’s veteran suicide rate is higher than the national average. In 2021, nearly 140 Hoosier veterans died by suicide and over 6,000 died nationwide.

“Hoosiers can be a big help in locating missing, at-risk veterans,” said State Rep. Chris Judy (R-Fort Wayne), who is a veteran and serves on the House Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee. “For veterans, their fight can go on for years after their service, and they need to know that they are supported and do not need to face challenges alone.”

For 24/7, confidential crisis support, veterans or their loved ones can dial 988 then press one or send a text to 838255 for the Veterans Crisis Line. Callers do not have to be enrolled in Veteran Affairs benefits or health care to connect. Hoosiers can also visit and join a chat with a VA responder.

House Enrolled Act 1021 passed unanimously out of the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate and received support from the Military/Veterans Coalition of Indiana, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Guard Association of Indiana.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

Our in-house staff works with community members and our local writers to find, write and edit the latest and most interesting news-worthy stories. We are your free community newspaper, boasting positive, family friendly and unique news. > Read More Information About Us > More Articles Written By Our Staff