UPDATE: After this series originally aired in late 2016, more than 12,000 people signed a petition calling for Congress to pass the Fairness for Veterans provision. The provision was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, and signed into law in by then-President Obama in late 2016. These stories remain a testament to the struggles faced by veterans every day.

U.S. Army specialist, Brian Portwine, died by suicide on May 27, 2001.

His mother, Peg, is refusing to stay silent about suicide. Her new life’s mission is to talk about it to anyone who will listen.

Peg knew two tours in Iraq would take its toll on her son, but it wasn’t until she starting digging into Brian’s military records that she discovered the depths of his physical and psychological injuries. What she found in those documents is fueling her fight. She now carries a cardboard cut-out of Brian out in public forcing the world, including members of Congress, to see and hear Brian’s story.

Politicians and policy makers are finally taking notice to the suicide epidemic among America’s veterans, but change is slow.

There is hope.

If you feel moved to act, tell your lawmaker to support Fairness for Vets by signing the petition below. Let your voice be heard on social media by tweeting your Senators and Representatives.

The time for action is now.

Watch part 5 (of 5) above.

Click here for part 1 (of 5)

Click here for part 2 (of 5)

Click here for part 3 (of 5)

Click here for part 4 (of 5)

UPDATE: President signs 'Fairness for Veterans' into law

UPDATE:

If you feel moved to act, tell your lawmaker to support Fairness for Vets by signing the petition below. Let your voice be heard on social media by tweeting your Senators and Representatives.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 20 U.S. veterans die by suicide every day. About 70 percent of veterans who took their own lives were not regular users of VA services. Veterans with less-than-honorable discharges are the most vulnerable group. These less-than-honorable discharges are often issued to service members for minor misconduct, that experts say, can be behavior linked to PTSD, TBI or other trauma-related injuries.

Now is the time for Fairness for Veterans. Let's give them hope to help heal the invisible wounds of war. Please support this common sense, bi-partisan bill to require the military discharge review boards to consider mental health diagnoses like PTSD and TBI.

I am asking the congressional delegation from my state to commit to changing the discharge review board policy by passing the Fairness for Veterans Act.