Feds extend effort to get veterans psychological care
U.S. Department of Defense officials announced Friday a greater effort to provide psychological assistance to veterans on Long Island and across the country.
According to Department of Defense officials, recruiting stations around the country will now also serve as locations where soldiers can find information on receiving psychological care. The department has set aside approximately $33 million for the project.
Luis Duran, of Copiague, is a Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He won the Purple Heart after a suicide car bomb hit his unit. Duran said he returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder, a common problem for veterans.
Due to his condition, Duran said he has been pulled over by police on five occasions. Each time, he said he reacted to tailgaters as if they were suicide car bombers, reverting to wartime maneuvers.
The hardest part of the new initiative will be removing the negative stigma of seeking help, defense officials said. And Duran agreed. Despite the offers while deployed, he said nobody he knows actually took advantage and sought psychological counseling.