PTSD Combat is no longer being updated.

Find Ilona blogging at Magyar Etimológia and Etymartist.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Rep. Martin Meehan Works to Help Returning Veterans

Rep. Martin Meehan [D-Mass.] deserves the spotlight for his tireless efforts on the behalf of veterans -- and especially for those coping with PTSD. He joins a list of other hard-working elected officials trying their best to get the VA adequate funding, deliver top-quality health care to our veterans and their families, and protect other benefits our troops have earned for their service to our country.

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for more...

From Rep. Meehan's website:

Working to address Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continues to be one of Congressman Meehan's top priorities in Congress. Congressman Meehan has called on his colleagues to redouble the commitment to soldiers now returning home and those who defended our freedom in past conflicts, ensuring that we provide care not only for the physical wounds, but the emotional scars as well.

As it stands now, the government maintains an unacceptably flawed system that neither pays adequate attention to veterans suffering from mental health disorders, nor dedicates sufficient resources to diagnosing and assisting them. This allows too many veterans suffering from mental health disorders to fall through the cracks. ...

Congressman Meehan wrote legislation -- included in the House version of this year's National Defense Bill -- that would create a Defense Department mass media campaign to raise awareness about mental health and substance disorders among service members and their families. It would also create peer support programs to support and educate soldiers about PTSD. This legislation, which was endorsed by Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs at the Department of Defense, will help remove the stigma and encourage people to seek treatment.

The legislation in question above appears to be HR2411:

To provide improved benefits and procedures for the transition of members of the Armed Forces from combat zones to noncombat zones and for the transition of veterans from service in the Armed Forces to civilian life.

Sponsor: Rep Meehan, Martin T. [MA-5] (introduced 5/17/2005)
Cosponsors: None
Committees: House Armed Services; House Veterans' Affairs; House Financial Services
Latest Major Action: 6/21/2005 Referred to House subcommittee.
Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel

As the bill appears to have no co-sponsors presently, perhaps those interested in supporting this work could take a moment to contact their district representative, asking them to consider co-sponsoring this important legislation.

More details:

U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., has filed legislation that would require every returning veteran to undergo a thorough psychological and physical examination. Meehan also seeks to increase funding for treatment of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. "If you look at how much money we're spending in Iraq and the increase in the defense budget, surely a small portion of that could be used to take care of these kids coming back from Iraq," Meehan said.

Part of the reason for the mental stress when soldiers return could be the nature of this war, in which U.S. troops aren't fighting an army. Soldiers never know whether a civilian is the enemy. Troops rotate in and out of Iraq and return home to a country less accepting of the war. "It's one thing to hunker down in one area, but it's another to move around to a new unsecured area all the time," said staff Sgt. Robert Davis, a mental health technician with the Army's 883rd Combat Stress Control Company, a unit that offers psychological counseling to troops on the front lines in Iraq. "There's anxiety, battle fatigue, lack of sleep and they're miles from home. Any of those is difficult, but all of them together is bad," Davis said.

David Spiegel, a psychiatrist at Stanford University and expert in PTSD, said soldiers are immersed in a brutal environment, then just dumped back home among people who don't understand. "You have a society not prepared to deal with what these people have been through and done. It isolates them when they come back."

Many are reluctant to seek help. Veterans worry that getting counseling could hurt their careers or alter relationships, said a study last year in the New England Journal of Medicine by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. "A lot of the younger guys won't do that," said National Guard Staff Sgt. Joseph Nelson of Bloomingdale, N.Y. "They think it makes them into wimps."

Please take a moment to send a note of thanks to Rep. Meehan. He's got every veteran's back. Shouldn't we have his?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Want to stay connected? You can subscribe to PTSD Combat via Feedburner or follow Ilona on Twitter.
Later/Newer Posts Previous/Older Posts Return Home

2011: Jan Feb
2010: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2009: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2008: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2007: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
2005: Sept Oct Nov Dec

Legal Notice

The information presented on this web site is based on news reports, medical and government documents, and personal analysis. It does NOT represent therapeutic prescription or recommendation. For specific advice and information, consult your health care provider.

Comments at PTSD Combat do not necessarily represent the editor's views. Illegal or inappropriate material will be removed when brought to our attention. The existence of such does not reflect an endorsement.

This site contains at times large portions of copyrighted material not specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This material is used for educational purposes, to forward understanding of issues that concern veterans and military families. In accordance with U.S. Copyright Law Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit. More information.