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Monday, November 20, 2006

SFO Bay Area: Attendees Needed @ DOD Task Force Mtg. Tomorrow

Received the following call for help tomorrow afternoon from Amy Fairweather for anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area :

Hello Ilona -

...I will be testifying before the DOD Task Force on Mental Heath tomorrow as will several family members and health care providers. We would like to have a good turn out to show support for veterans and families living with PTSD and to shed light on the DOD's inadequate response. Please forward this to colleagues and friends in the Bay Area.

Amy N. Fairweather, J.D.
Director, Iraq Veteran Project
Swords to Plowshares
1060 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Click on 'Article Link' below tags for full press release...

MEDIA ADVISORY
November 16, 2006

CONTACT:
Amy Fairweather (415) 252-4787 ext. 356 (415) 505-6558 afairweather@stp-sf.org
Anne Roesler (408) 205-2199 docondeck@pacbell.net
Michael Blecker (415) 252-4787 ext. 321 (415) 823-0363 mblecker@stp-sf.org

MILITARY FAMILIES AND VETERANS ADVOCATES TO TESTIFY BEFORE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE TASK FORCE ON MENTAL HEALTH DESPITE DOD OBSTACLES

WHO: Military Families and veterans’ service providers speak out on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health. Anne Roesler, Advisory Board member of Military Families Speak Out and mother of thrice-deployed Iraq veteran, Amy Fairweather, Iraq Veteran Project Director, Swords to Plowshares, and other family members and mental health providers will speak to the enormous unmet mental health need among service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

WHAT: Sen. Boxer’s amendment to the 2006 defense appropriations bill requires the DOD to conduct public hearings throughout the country regarding mental health care within the armed services.

The DOD informed Senator Boxer’s office on Friday November 17th that the public testimony portion of the open hearing will begin at 4:35 pm, leaving just 25 minutes for families and others to speak. It has since assured advocates that they will extend the meeting if necessary to receive testimony. However, it has provided no instruction for public participation on the Task Force website.

Despite these efforts to operate below the radar, military families and advocates will attend the hearings and provide testimony regarding the real life mental health impact of deployment and the barriers to care in the military community.

WHEN: Press conference Tuesday November 21st, 4:00 pm.
DOD Open briefings,1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Public testimony, 4:35 pm.

WHERE: Double Tree Hotel San Francisco International Airport, 835 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame.

WHY: 450,000, one in three, Iraq veterans return from deployment with post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health needs. Suicide among active troops has skyrocketed. PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury are the signature wounds of theses wars, and yet the military has failed to ensure timely and adequate mental health resources for those enduring the sacrifices of deployment.

War causes wounds and suffering that last beyond the battlefield. Our mission is to heal the wounds, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to reduce homelessness and poverty among veterans. Learn more about the work of Swords to Plowshares, and ways in which you can help, by visiting our website at www.stp-sf.org.

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