February 7th, 2015
“As co-chairman of the Military Mental Health Caucus I was pleased to have the opportunity to address important veterans’ issues, such as Post-Traumatic Stress and suicide,” said Congressman Ryan. “For the first time in over a decade active duty suicides exceed combat deaths, and estimates show that veteran suicides may be as high as four times the non-veteran population. It goes without saying that there is a moral imperative to address these issues, but there are also compelling economic reasons. A recent report found the lifetime cost of treating PTSD in a single veteran is $1.4 million. With an estimated 500,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD, the total cost of treatment could exceed $700 billion. The magnitude of these problems demand that we pursue innovative solutions outside of the normal processes.”
Organizations in attendance included: Garry Augustine, Executive Director of Disabled American Veterans; Barbara Van Dahlen, President of Give an Hour; Louis J. Celli, Jr., National Legislative Director, American Legion; Ray Kelley, National Legislative Director of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Nancy McGrory Richardson, Market Development Director of AMVETS; Alex Nicholson, Legislative Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Aaron Scheinberg, Director of Strategy and Research of The Mission Continues; and Krishna Pendyala, President of Mindful Nation Foundation.