To the editor:
I am writing to inform your readers about a serious issue facing our veterans: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that occurs after witnessing or experiencing life-threatening events. People with PTSD continue feeling extreme stress after the event is over, and it can lead greater mental health challenges such as depression. With 22 veterans taking their own lives every day, it’s critical that we give veterans and their families the tools and resources they need to combat PTSD.
When Suffolk County American Legion Commander Gene Ordmandy reached out to me about a PTSD training program, “From the Battlefield to the Streets,” I was immediately enthusiastic. The program trains Legionnaires to recognize symptoms of stress in returning veterans, on principles of combat stress intervention, in peer-to-peer support, and on available resources for veterans. To help raise the funding, I reached out to the Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, and together we were able to raise $10,000 for this program.
I encourage readers to reach out to veterans to let them know this program is being developed and to raise awareness about veterans living with PTSD. Our veterans risked their lives to protect the freedoms we hold dear and they’ve earned high-quality care. It’s our job, all of us, to make sure they receive it.
Member of Congress