A new law in Wisconsin is expected to pass soon and be signed by the governor, creating a Green Alert system in the state. Similar to Amber and Silver alerts for missing children or senior citizens, the Green Alert system would notify the public about veterans who have gone missing.
The proposed Green Alert system is inspired by U.S. Air Force veteran Corey Adams who, while receiving treatment for PTSD, went missing in March 2017 from his family’s home in Wisconsin. His family reported him as missing immediately, but because he was an adult, he did not fit emergency criteria, so local law enforcement did not start searching for Adams for more than a week.
18 days after initially being reported missing by his family, Adams was found dead in a lake one mile from his home.
The Corey Adams Searchlight Act would create the Green Alert system and fill the gap in emergency services for vulnerable veterans who go missing, especially when they have a history of mental health issues like PTSD.
“We all share a duty to those who put their lives on the line to defend our country, and Green Alerts, like the current system of Amber and Silver Alerts, will help fulfill that duty by giving us, the public, the opportunity to be on the lookout and help bring our missing veterans home safely,” said Wisconsin State Senator LaTonya Johnson, who introduced the bill.
Johnson continued to say, “If a soldier goes missing in the field, his or her unit will send out a search and rescue party. When an at-risk veteran goes missing at home, it should be all of our jobs to assist with the search however we can.”
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According to statistics from the Department of Justice, approximately 900 children have been saved since 2006 as a direct result of an Amber Alert being issued. At the same time, there are roughly 90,000 missing persons in the United States at any given time, with more than half of those being adults.
With the new Green Alert system, residents in the state would receive alerts similar to Amber and Silver alerts and be notified if a vulnerable veteran goes missing. The legislation was recently passed with overwhelming support in the state Senate and is expected to pass through the state Assembly soon and be signed by the governor.
“We’re hoping this goes national,” said Sen. Johnson. “Veterans give so much. Corey served (three) tours and he came home safe. If he made it home safe we should have done everything to make sure he was made whole.”
Sign the petition on the next page calling for Green Alerts to become a national program!
Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.