"Giving voice to vets’ invisible struggle"
Military service places a significant physical and emotional toll on our men and women in uniform. Those who serve on the front lines to protect U.S. national security often face considerable hardship and witness unimaginable brutality to shield loved ones at home from the evils of tyranny and terrorism. When war veterans return home, many soldiers also confront an invisible toll, burdened with psychological troubles as they struggle to integrate back into the workforce, society and family life. Throughout my service in the U.S. Senate, I have worked to champion the interests of Iowa military veterans, from protecting veterans’ access to affordable, quality health care close to home, including rural outpatient clinics; to raising better awareness about education benefits through the G.I. program; calling for suicide prevention and outreach to troubled veterans; and hiring vets for federal jobs (in fact, at my prodding the IRS fulfilled its commitment to hire 1,000 vets in fiscal year 2008). Too often we hear stories about returning veterans struggling with homelessness, unemployment, alcoholism or depression. But an unknown number of personal stories go unreported from veterans with unseen injuries. From my leadership position in the U.S. Senate, I am working to raise awareness and change public policy to improve treatment and care for veterans and service members who have suffered mental injuries, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury from their service in zones of combat.
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