A new public notification similar to Indiana’s Amber Alert will soon help first responders locate missing and at-risk veterans thanks to efforts supported by State Representatives Jack Jordan (R-Bremen) and Jake Teshka (R-North Liberty).

A new law, which passed during the 2024 legislative session, will create a Green Alert to notify the public that a veteran or military service member is reported missing and believed to be at risk of being hurt or hurting themselves. The alert will function similarly to the state’s successful Amber Alert for missing children and Silver Alert for missing seniors.

“These alerts will go out statewide to notify the public that a veteran or active service member is missing and may need help,” Jordan said. “We care about these men and women and want to do everything we can to activate resources and return them home safely.”

A Green Alert could be issued by the Indiana State Police for veterans, active service members, Indiana National Guard members and reservists within 48 hours of the individual being reported missing. Like other alerts, the notification will include a description and last known location of the individual and if they are considered at-risk to themselves or others.

“The new Green Alert will be a critical tool for families and first responders as the public could generate helpful leads for the search,” Teshka said. “We know that every minute and every hour count when someone is missing and at-risk, and I think this notification system could lead to more lives saved.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Indiana’s veteran suicide rate is higher than the national average. In 2021, nearly 140 Hoosier veterans died by suicide and over 6,000 died nationwide.

For 24/7, confidential crisis support, veterans or their loved ones can dial 988 then press one or send a text to 838255 for the Veterans Crisis Line. Callers do not have to be enrolled in Veteran Affairs benefits or health care to connect. Hoosiers can also visit veteranscrisisline.net and join a chat with a VA responder.

House Enrolled Act 1021 passed unanimously out of the Indiana House of Representatives and Senate, and received support from the Military/Veterans Coalition of Indiana, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Guard Association of Indiana.