A United States Senator from Ohio has introduced a measure that would make it easier for veterans to demonstrate they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Now whether or not the Veterans Administration will ever get organized enough to provide the treatment these former service members need is an open question, and one best saved for another discussion.
For the present, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown’s Significant Event Tracker Act would itself be a significant event in the ongoing effort to reduce suicide among combat veterans.
The proposed law was itself suggested by a veteran who “began pushing for the change after struggling with his own issues from service in Afghanistan and after a close friend killed himself two years after returning home from war duty,” according to an announcement from Brown’s office.
“We’re hope this (bill) is something that can really make a difference, if done right,” C. Michael Fairman of Columbus was quoted as saying.
Fairman and a friend have started the nonprofit Summit for Soldiers, in which they climb the highest peaks in the United States and around the world to bring attention to the plight of those experiencing PSTD.
“Ohio’s Democratic U.S. senator says early documentation of military service incidents could help veterans later when they seek treatment,” the announcement stated. “Sen. Sherrod Brown is promoting legislation about creating records of exposure to events that could result in post-traumatic stress disorder, mild traumatic brain injuries or other issues.
“What’s called the Significant Event Tracker Act would have unit commanders document incidents, with the Defense Department sending the information to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Having the information on record could help in making medical diagnoses later.”
Fairman has said that one of the best things about the proposed act is that it would cost very little to implement, using for the most part records that are already being kept.