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"Three years ago, I lost my son, Clay Hunt, to suicide.

And today, I testified about his experiences in front of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Clay enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2005. He deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq - where he earned a Purple Heart. After he returned from Iraq, Clay suffered from Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and survivor's guilt. He worked hard to move forward and found healing by helping people, including humanitarian work with Team Rubicon and participating in IAVA's annual Storm the Hill advocacy campaign.

During this transition, Clay also sought treatment at VA medical centers in Los Angeles, Grand Junction, CO and Houston. He was given a variety of medications to treat his PTS symptoms, but never received the help he truly needed. He appealed his original disability rating for PTS, when he realized it was interfering with his ability to hold a job in 2009.

On March 31, 2011, Clay took his own life.

He was still waiting for his appeal to go through. But then, five weeks after his death (and eighteen months after filing the appeal), Clay's appeal finally was approved. The VA rated Clay's PTS at 100%.

But it was too late.

Clay's death has been the hardest thing I have ever faced. Not one more veteran should have to go through what Clay went through with the VA after returning home from war. Not one more parent should have to testify before a congressional committee to compel the VA to fulfill its responsibilities to those who served.

But with that said, I'm pleased to tell you that earlier today, Representative Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, introduced the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act.

With 22 veterans taking their own lives every day - yes, 22 - legislation like this is critical to reaching our brave men and women before it's too late.

Please call your Representative today at 1-855-971-0769 or text "CLAY" to 69866 to be connected immediately and tell your Congressman to support the Clay Hunt SAV Act. It's quick and it's easy.

You can help make a difference for our veterans. I believe this bill would have helped Clay get the care he needed. It might have saved his life.

Let's do what we can to help countless others."

Thank you,

Susan Selke

"As our company decided to grow the business in the southeast there was a great deal of apprehension. We asked ourselves these questions: Would we be able to find a community that is similar in nature to our family style of business? Would we be able to attract desirable employees on a consistent basis? It seems as though many communities try to sell themselves the best they can, but when it comes down to making a decision it is hard to tell if early indications will reach fruition. I am very pleased to say that since we made the decision to make Cleveland County our new home, we have been pleasantly surprised. We have found that the people we have employed have a true desire to succeed both professionally and personally. The average employee possesses a more than adequate set of skills for or our applications. Everyone we have had had the pleasure of interviewing has shared similar morals that we require from everyone in our organization, which also seems to be reflected by everyone in the area. I am proud to say that at this we are now faced with a dilemma; which qualified candidates do we hire, because the number of qualified people supersedes the amount of openings? Here are a few other things that I have witnessed. The people of Cleveland County genuinely want us here! Everyone we have had the pleasure of meeting has explained to us how in the past this community was faced with hard times; hard times that would have been detrimental to an average community. I am proud to say that this community does not appear to be what I would call average. In fact, it is far better than average! To all of the area people I would like to say thank you. You have all made the transition an enjoyable and rewarding experience."

Kevin Frane ~ Operations Manager ~ Kitchen Ventilations Systems

“We are very impressed with the service orientation and work ethic of the people of North Carolina and the spirit of cooperation and community support within the State, Cleveland County, Gardner -Webb University and Cleveland Community College. I have been overwhelmed by the hospitality and interest in our business that the citizens of Cleveland County, and the Cleveland County Chamber of Commerce have demonstrated.”

Norman Bresseman ~ Former Senior Vice-President ~ TeleRx(Subsidiary of Merck)

“When it came time for us to decide on our first US plant location, we investigated the nature of the available economic support, including government grants. The Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership was introduced to us early on and was instrumental for not only guiding us through the process, but for going ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ in assisting us in dealing with the various parties involved.

The Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership was personally involved and facilitated discussions at the State level, introduced us to Duke Energy, and other individuals. The attention given to our dossier has made a huge difference in making our operation in Kings Mountain a reality. Thank you for your on-going support.”

Denis Boulais ~ President & CEO ~ Solaris-Industries, A wholly owned division of Delhi-Solac Inc.

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