As your constituent and a member of Veterans-For-Change [VFC], an advocacy group for Veterans rights, benefits, and treatment, we bring to your attention the ever-increasing problems affecting Veterans and their families every day. VFC would like to educate you about the following:
Allow Vet 2 Vet, Veterans helping Veterans in all VA facilities:
Vet 2 Vet – A partnership for Veterans who are trained to facilitate a group meeting and gauge the tempo of how the group is progressing so changes may be made to increase awareness, interest and participation, according to the flow of the group.
In this group setting, there is no staff present and the facilitator writes reports s/he feels are necessary.
A Certified Peer Specialist is something entirely different. To receive certification as a certified peer specialist requires a bit of extensive training. For example, requirements include about one week of training and a test administered that the person must pass. The test is very specific and you have to know the business. These are the people with credentials who can get employment in military or civilian hospitals.
The idea behind this is two-fold. First, a huge cost savings to the VA, and second, Veterans are more willing to opening up and discussing their service to someone they know – someone who has walked the walk and talked the talk of a military veteran – someone who has been there, done that and fully understands!
When it comes to a Veteran who has PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) conventional treatments which usually include psychotropic drugs, one-on-one counseling, and group counseling do not always meet the need, especially when a Veteran is left to his own care at home or in public, or when the veteran chooses to keep everything inside, based on his training of “It don’t mean nothing…”
A PTSD Dog, professionally trained can sense when an “episode” is coming on even before it happens, and certainly long before the Veteran knows he/she is in trouble. PTSD dogs are “a soldier’s best friend,” and they are wonderful at helping to calm the Veteran down and compose him/herself again. http://soldiersbestfriend.org/
The VA is not notorious for support of such a program when it’s needed the most. And if you could actually see the difference and changes in a Veteran who suffers from PTSD when a dog is around them you’d be absolutely amazed.
We urge you to seriously look into this type of a program, do whatever it takes, draft and enact new legislation, put pressure on the VA to use their discretionary budget to fund a program like this, but do something. Only a veteran, and a veteran’s family members, can understand the benefit of programs to assist with coping of PTSD.
We can never do and/or offer enough to help our Veterans and Congress has done very little, so please consider these requests.
We need Congress to take immediate action to truly support all Veterans. The statement, ‘WE CAN’T WAIT’ should be vocalized, practiced and shared for all Veterans, to demonstrate how much America should care for Veterans and how our Government should benefit all of them for serving their Country, while experiencing toxic treatments that have made the veterans ill, and caused their deaths. It has been said that “ACTIONS speak LOUDER than words…” Perhaps now is the time to truly take action and show our Veterans, “YES, WE CAN…WE CAN’T WAIT!” We are the United States of America. We are proud, and we support and service our Veterans who served so proudly to defend our Nation! Previously America was a country that moved forward with pride. We fought to preserve our country, our freedom and our people. The time is now to UNITE WITH OUR VETERANS, to move our veterans forward with the benefits they deserve. Please, let 2013 be the year to show veterans how much we support them and that America is united to service their needs, and the promises made during their military service.