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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Contact Senators to Urge Support for Veteran Mental Health and Readjustment Assistance Amendment

Senators Barack Obama [D-IL] and Claire McCaskill [D-MO] recently introduced the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act (S. 713). While it's been read in committee a couple of times, it awaits a full consideration. A portion of it has taken on new life, however, and could use our support.

[UPDATE Mar 29, 2007]: While the Wounded Warriors Act passed unanimously in the House yesterday, the Senate amendment based on the Senate version of the same bill was struck down.

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

From the Kansas City Star:

The two Democrats from neighboring states introduced an amendment Tuesday that would add more mental health and crisis counselors for troops and their families. It would also improve mental health services for women in the military who have been victims of post-traumatic stress disorder or sexual assault and abuse.

The $103 million measure would become part of the larger $121 billion Iraq supplement bill being debated in the Senate. It would also hire more hospital caseworkers to help troops receive faster treatment and benefits.

In addition, their amendment would pay for an updated version of a 1983 study by the National Academy of Sciences on the mental health needs of returning service members. The original study was done in the wake of the Vietnam War, but completed too late to help many of those veterans, McCaskill said in a conference call with reporters. “This requires it right now so we are sure men and women are getting the mental health assistance they need,” she said. “This is urgent.”

Please call or write your Senators and ask them to support this amendment. Veterans for America has made it easy to do with their online action form.

A letter from VFA's Bobby Muller:

Veterans for America is doing everything we can to make sure this amendment gets passed – but, we need your help. Too many of our troops are returning to a system that completely ignores their most urgent service-related health and readjustment needs. The face of today’s military is drastically different from any military we have ever sent to war, and our current system does not address their specific needs.

It took ten years after the end of the Vietnam War to understand the specific needs of my generation. We cannot wait that long this time around. If we do, we will fail thousands upon thousands of service members. We must stop throwing money at a broken system that does not have the capacity to address the most urgent unmet needs of today’s service members and veterans.

Please urge your senators to immediately co-sponsor this amendment. Also, please pass this email along to friends and family. Our work on behalf of our troops is dependent upon this study.


Bobby Muller

Please see VFA's action page to send your support.

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