16 years ago

To the editor:
We are all familiar with the physical injury problems suffered by veterans at Walter Reed Hospital and various Veterans Administration hospitals.
    However, there is an equally distressing problem receiving far less publicity. Veterans who are victims of mental or emotional problems can be hospitalized and eventually taken care of; however, their path to care is frequently fraught with greater red tape, more bureaucratic hassles, and far too common low need evaluations than do veterans suffering physical wounds. Those with mental or emotional problems cause by military service typically require maddening, time consuming, and expensive appeals, hearings, and delays for veterans and families.
In addition, mental and emotional injuries do not allow the injured veteran the awarding of a purple heart as a result of his or her injury. The mental and emotional injuries are defines operationally as les worthy. This is shameful and needs to be changed. All documented injuries are worthy of note.
The President, the Secretary of Defense, the head of the American Legion, and the Secretary of Veteran Affairs all need to get focused and active and demand appropriate changes to recognize mental and emotional injuries and to straighten out the path for afflicted veterans.

Ken Petress
Presque Isle