color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: This Is For The Soldiers

Thursday, July 12, 2007

This Is For The Soldiers

Those of you that come by regularly (or even occasionally) know that my soldier son was wounded in Iraq and that while his body (mostly) healed, there is a wound inside that resists. He has chronic PTSD as a result of his combat service in Iraq. With therapy, he is better than he was... but he is not cured. We say that he is one of those that left the battlefield, but brought the battle home.

Noah is one of the "lucky" ones. He overcame the stigma and the attitude that "real men" don't need help... they can do it themselves... that time and brothers would be all he needed to heal. It has been a long and difficult road -- one he will travel for some time to come. We -- parents, brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, friends -- will walk with him... and with all his brothers who serve and have served.

Now we're asking all of America to join the band Drowning Pool to sign a petition asking that H.R. 1354, The Lane Evans Veterans Health and Benefits Improvement Act of 2007 receive the attention in the Congressional Committees that Veterans' Mental Health Care deserves.

In my opinion, the Bill has some serious flaws and, as currently drafted, is exceptionally broad and would be extremely burdensome for the already overburdened and woefully underfunded Veterans Administration (for example, it would require mental health evaluations within 30 days for every veteran who requests it and would require "hospital care, medical services, nursing home care, and family and marital counseling for any mental health condition identified pursuant to such evaluation, notwithstanding that there is insufficient medical evidence to conclude that such condition is attributable to such service." However, this and other flaws in the Bill could certainly be addressed and rectified in Committee and/or by amendment...

But, of course, just making this "law" does not ensure funding. We already have lots of mandates on the books for Veterans' care -- but unless and until the Congress gets SERIOUS about committing the funds necessary to ensure staffing and facilities to provide these services, care for our Veterans will remain inadequate and substandard in terms of its availability. Underfunding or outright failure to fund these mandates and allowing sufficient time to implement them are the very reasons our Veterans' and active duty medical facilities cannot provide the care our veterans and military service members need NOW (and organizations like IAVA know -- or should know -- this if they are serious about supporting our Troops and Veterans.)

All that being said, I applaud -- AND LOUDLY -- any effort to focus attention on the needs of our servicemen and women and all those who have served. War wounds all who serve: for some, the wounds are invisible and never truly heal. So please click the banner above -- which also has a headbanger Drowning Pool track "This is for the Soldiers" and a video. H.R 1354 isn't perfect -- but it's a start.


Text of Petition to Congressman Robert Filner, Chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

Dear Congressman Filner,

1.5 million people have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost one-third of them will have a serious mental health problem – like depression, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. That’s why I’m supporting IAVA and Drowning Pool’s “This is For the Soldiers” campaign to make sure the mental health needs of our troops are a top priority.

We know you’re a strong supporter of the troops. You co-sponsored the crucial Lane Evans bill, which would get veterans the counseling and support they need. But without your leadership, this bill will continue to just sit in committee.

We hope you’ll join us and bring this bill before the committee. With your help, we can get this bill moving and get troops the care they deserve.

Thanks (again) to my friend Andi (hope that whole PCS thing is working out for you... groan) for bringing this campaign to my attention. For those who would like to spread the word on your blogs or web pages, there is a code for the banner/link beneath the petition that you can insert on your sites.


At 7/13/2007 8:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom - we're interviewing members of the band today at 3:00 on SB Talk Radio. You should listen in and maybe even call into the show....


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