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8th Navy sailor suicide in Hampton Roads reported in less than a year, 4th from USS George Washington

The sailor was confirmed by a Navy spokesperson to have been stationed on the USS George Washington.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A spokesperson for the Newport News Police Department confirmed that a U.S. Navy sailor died by suicide in a residence on January 23.

The sailor was confirmed by a Navy spokesperson to have been stationed on the USS George Washington.

This marks the eighth reported suicide in the Hampton Roads region involving Navy personnel in less than a year, according to previous 13News Now coverage.

CDR Rob Meyers, Spokesman, Naval Air Force Atlantic said in a statement, "Our thoughts and condolences are with the family, friends and shipmates of the sailor."

Meyers added that chaplains, mental health professionals and ship leaders are engaged to provide appropriate support.

Last April, three other sailors assigned to USS George Washington are believed to have taken their own lives within six days of each other, while their aircraft carrier has been undergoing a long-term overhaul at Newport News Shipbuilding.

A Navy report pointed to "life stressors" those sailors faced.

The most recent Navy deaths by suicide took place last October and November, involving four sailors from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center at Naval Station Norfolk.

Leaders continue to grapple with difficult questions, such as whether or not these servicemembers had the access they needed to adequate physical and mental health support.

"The news about the most recent death by suicide is a real gut punch," said Sen.  Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He vowed Wednesday to keep pushing Navy leaders to improve mental health support and to see to it that the Navy fully implements the Brandon Act, which is designed to protect service members who experience mental health emergencies and reduce the stigma around reporting.

"And you can bet, together with the Personnel Subcommittee, we're going to tackle this during the posture hearings and we're also going to put additional muscle and resources into the NDAA to address this," he said.

The name of the latest sailor to die has been released by the Navy, but out of respect for his family, 13 News Now has chosen not to broadcast or publish it at this time.

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