Long Island veterans groups demand Gov. Cuomo provide state aid for peer-to-peer program
A fight for funding is underway in Albany for a program that helps veterans deal with the unseen wounds of war.
A cry of protest has arisen from Long Island veterans who are furious Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not included funding to a peer-to-peer program that helps veterans facing the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Assemblyman Mike LiPetri, along with several Long Island groups, are demanding the $4 million in state aid needed for the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project be included in Cuomo's budget.
Morris Miller, a Vietnam veteran who volunteers as a peer counselor, understands the importance of the peer-to-peer program.
"PTSD is not just for Vietnam veterans, it's Iraq, Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Desert Shield. There are our younger veterans, and we have to, as older veterans, stand up for these guys," says Morris.
According to the Veterans Affairs Administration, 22 veterans of all ages commit suicide each day because of PTSD.
"I cannot begin to emphasize how important it is to have a one-on-one conversation with another veteran, another PTSD survivor, another combat soldier," says Frank Romeo.
News 12 reached out to Gov. Cuomo's office, but was not given an official answer on the status of the state funding for the program, or if any federal funding may be available.