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Public Statements

Recognizing Efforts of Welcome Back Veterans

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DONNELLY of Indiana. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, before I talk about the importance of the resolution before us today, I want to thank the Committee on Armed Services for working with us to bring this resolution to the floor and would ask that the exchange of letters waiving jurisdiction between the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services be inserted into the Congressional Record.

Mr. Speaker, we are all aware that post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, is one of the signature wounds of Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom. Countless reports and studies bear out this statement. Most significantly, a 2008 study released by the RAND Corporation reported that one in five veterans of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan are suffering from PTSD. Studies by other experts and by the VA itself demonstrate how widespread and serious PTSD is; and as more servicemembers return home, the problem will only grow larger.

VA has made important strides in the treatment of PTSD. They boast providers throughout the Nation who offer excellent care for PTSD and researchers who have found innovative, ground-breaking new treatments as well. But VA cannot combat PTSD alone. Dedicated advocates and organizations throughout the country are committed to doing their part to help provide care for our veterans.

Welcome Back Veterans has answered this call to service. The partnership between Major League Baseball, the McCormick Foundation, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the university hospitals at Weill Cornell, the University of Michigan, Stanford University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have already made tremendous accomplishments on behalf of our veterans.

They have raised over $15 million for PTSD treatment and research and are working closely with hospitals in Massachusetts, New York, Michigan, and California to help provide care to over 5,000 servicemembers. But for all the great things that Welcome Back Veterans has accomplished, I know they are poised to do so much more. They are continuing to work hard to care for our veterans, and I look forward to watching them continue with these efforts.

Welcome Back Veterans deserves our formal recognition for the great work they have done. I urge you to join me in offering my gratitude to Welcome Back Veterans by supporting House Resolution 1746.

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