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Landscape photo of Indiana's Statehouse, with each government center on opposing sides.

Source: PHOTO: Donnie Burgess

STATEWIDE — You’ve heard of AMBER Alerts and Silver Alerts, but one Indiana lawmaker wants to establish a new safety measure for another vulnerable group of Hoosiers.

“The Green Alert bill specifically targets military veterans during a time where they may be missing or in harm’s way,” says Democrat State Representative Renee Pack of Indianapolis.

The bill would allow families to report an at-risk veteran missing, which would then in turn create a law enforcement response similar to a missing child or elderly person. The bill, authored by Rep. Pack and Democrat State Representative Mitch Gore of Indianapolis, has been trying to nudge its way through the Statehouse for the last few years.

Today, the bill enters second reading and has received unanimous support so far. The Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee also gave the bill a thumbs up.

Rep. Pack, a United States Army veteran who served from 1986 to 1991, says veterans face a unique set of harmful circumstances, “from drug and alcohol use and abuse, to suicide, to mental illness. Especially those who’ve been a part of combat. Unfortunately, I know veterans that are friends of mine who are suffering. We lose 22 vets a day to suicide. An average of 22 vets a day to suicide, and I do have friends that I’m afraid of getting that call.”

Pack says it’s usually difficult to get a Democrat bill through the Statehouse, given the Republican super majority as she describes. Despite that State Representatives Pack and Gore feel this year could be the year.

“So far, it looks really, really promising,” Pack continues, “but, if something does go wrong and it doesn’t go through, we will be on the desk next year.”