New bill to create missing veteran alert - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

New bill to create missing veteran alert


Marathon County (WAOW) -- A new bill is in the works that could help save missing veterans by creating an alert called the "green alert". The bill is called the Corey Adams Searchlight Act, named after a Milwaukee veteran who passed away earlier in 2017 after going missing for 18 days. 

Like the Amber or Silver Alerts for missing children or the elderly, state legislators want the green alert to be a signal that goes out to officials and the community providing information that would help locate the veteran.

Veterans at a benefit expo in Wausau had mixed feelings and reactions to the proposal.

Craig Van Schyndel said, "some vets with their mental health injuries over a while turn into not quite dementia but they get confused, a situation like that could help."

"Good idea in theory but at the same time a lot of people go missing all the time and yes, veterans are important but what makes them any more important but what makes them more important than any other citizen?" Bobby Xiong, another veteran at the expo said he thought it was pointless, "you'll see it on your phone, yeah, but I feel like people wouldn't actively go out and look for a veteran." 

"I may look for the individual, if it's described how he's dressed or his age, and if I see him I would let the authorities know it's a possibility that that's the individual or even stop and talk to them," said Roger Schulrud, a veteran that supports the bill.

The issue hit close to home last year when the body of a missing Wausau veteran, Brian Rossell, was found in a river.

"When the gentleman disappeared in the river... I know a lot of people in the vet community got groups of people together to assist in the search,"  Schyndel said, "having something like this would help if done properly, expand the outreach."

One of the senators behind the bill is Republican Patrick Testin of Stevens Point, "we lose far too many veterans every day to suicide and a lot of it often times stems from issues like PTSD," he said.

He hopes the alert will help them get home safely and get the treatment they need.

The bill is in its early stages and still has to go to the assembly and senate.

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