Sunday, March 5, 2006

Washington State Takes Reins to Support Returning Troops

partial cross post from ilona's blog...special tx to ilona for her blog with focus on our returning troops and their families.

Washington State Takes Reins to Support Returning Troops: "
From the Everett, Washington Daily Herald:

The effects of the war in Iraq are beginning to reverberate in the state Legislature. A state-funded treatment program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder could receive an extra $170,000 this year, enough to serve another 130 soldiers should they need help when they return from Iraq. The funds are in a $500,000 package for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the budgets proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, the House of Representatives and state Senate.

Only Washington and New Jersey have state-funded PTSD treatment programs. Washington is the only state with an increasing number of veterans, said Tom Schumacher, who runs the Everett-based program. Other states rely solely on federal funding to maintain their PTSD programs and for helping soldiers readjust to civilian life, though many emotionally wounded veterans shy away from them, Schumacher said.

Of the 10,000 National Guardsmen and reservists already returned from combat duty to Washington state, Schumacher estimated that 4,000 of them will have readjustment issues or full-blown PTSD. 'Can we ever do enough? Probably not,' Schumacher said. Nevertheless, 'It's up to us to be the example of what should be done.'"


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