Nov 24: Our VCS Thanksgiving Message

VCS Asks Our Members to Take a Moment

Veterans for Common Sense wants our members to take a moment to be thankful this Thanksgiving for time spent with their loved ones, for service members and veterans across America who are also spending time with their families, and for our service members on duty everywhere.

This week’s update focuses on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

First, we have a special Thanksgiving message from the parents of Jeffrey Lucey about their son’s tragic struggle with PTSD, and VA’s abject failure to assist him.

Next, PBS Newshour posted questions and answers about their story last week highlighting PTSD and suicide. The news segment featured both the military and VCS stating that PTSD and suicide are associated with Iraq and Afghanistan war deployment. However, VA denied any such link. Please read comments by James Peake, and Elspeth Ritchie, and me in response to viewers’ questions about PTSD and suicide.

VCS works tirelessly to publicize news about stigma and PTSD so we can change policies that lead to suicide. One of our goals is to reduce the stigma associated with PTSD so our soldiers and veterans will ask for help when they need it. Another of our goals is for VA to stop turning away verterans seeking mental healthcare.

For practical advice about dealing with VA, please read the new American Veterans and Servicemembers Survivial Guide, published this year.  I am honored to work with many experts on this important project, and I co-wrote the first chapter, “Basic Survival Skills.”

For this Thanksgiving, we want to make sure our veterans and soldiers know they can get help when they need it. Please make a gift to VCS today so we can continue this vital work.

Finally, VCS wants you to know VA’s new suicide prevention hotline recieved 85,000 calls in 15 months. Veterans for Common Sense has been relentless in our calls to VA to help our veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. When we filed our lawsuit against VA to get them to stop turning away suicidal veterans, VA’s first response was to create the new suicide prevention hotline. We thank VA leaders for establishing the hotline and for the dedication of VA staff answering calls 24 hours per day, every day.

Your support of VCS advocacy made the new service possible – a service that saved more than 2,100 veterans’ lives since the end of July 2007.

Veterans for Common Sense needs your help. Please give a tax-deductible contribution today so we can continue our work for America’s veterans on this Thanksgiving and all year long.

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