We lose just over 20 veterans per day to suicide, with PTSD being the leading cause. We need to bring this to the forefront because PTSD IS a national crisis. It represents the true cost of war. This cannot be ignored. Taking care of our veterans should never be in question or in doubt. Our veterans have honorably served our nation and made considerable sacrifices for our freedom and liberties. Many of these fine men and women have endured things most of us could not comprehend. Our veterans should never have to worry about when or if they will receive the benefits and care they were promised. As a parent whose children, brother-in-law, grandfather, uncles and father-in-law have served, this issue is very close to my heart. It sickens me when our very own Congressman John Carter is more than happy to show up at Fort Hood for a photo opportunity, yet supports cutting disability payments, health care services, and limits the doctors that veterans can see.
I heard many heart wrenching stories from families and veterans during my 2016 campaign. Instead of writing more regarding where I stand, I think this personal note from an Iraq War veteran says it all:
“When vets are claiming PTSD/anxiety/depression the VA is doing nothing but looking at claims and making a decision without looking into anything. They don't run a screen or a therapist interview. Nothing. No wonder all these vets are committing suicide. When they claim they need help, the VA picks and chooses if they want to proceed further investigation of it. I have documentation of medications I had to have initially when I came back and continued to call for appointments to help me deal with some issues that still bother me to this day. I still wake up in night sweats, flail in my sleep when I do sleep (4hrs) and nothing is done.”
Our focus should be on quality and meaningful care for our veterans. We can NEVER quit on them because they NEVER quit on us!