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Lee Zeldin

10/26/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/26/2021 18:50

Rep. Zeldin Hosts Special Order on House Floor in Support of America’s Veterans Battling PTSD and TBI

WASHINGTON - This evening, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), a United States Army veteran, hosted a Special Order on the floor of the House of Representatives calling for improved access to critical mental health resources for veterans battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Congressman Zeldin specifically highlighted his bipartisan legislation, the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program Act(H.R. 1476), which now has 36 cosponsors and the endorsement of 14 veterans advocacy groups.

Congressman Zeldin created the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program during his time serving in the New York State Senate in honor of PFC Joseph Dwyer, an Iraq War veteran from Mount Sinai, New York, who sadly lost his battle with PTSD. This successful peer to peer support model provides a safe, confidential, and educational platform where all veterans are welcome to meet with other veterans in support of each other's successful transition to post-service life and seeks to build vet-to-vet relationships that enhance positive change through common experiences, learning and personal growth.

Suffolk County served as one of four test counties in New York in 2013, the first year of the program, and since then, the program has successfully expanded to over 25 counties across New York, saving lives while assisting tens of thousands of New York veterans battling PTSD and TBI. H.R. 1476 would expand this program nationally and help veterans across the United States receive the care, treatment and support that they need and deserve.

To conclude the Special Order, Congressman Zeldin delivered the following message to all our nation's veterans who are suffering from the mental wounds of war:

"It's our duty to give back, to look out for our vets and our veteran families… And for anyone who is out there, any veteran in need, there are veteran crisis lines to call. There are online chats. There are ways to reach out in your local community and nationally… There are people who live around the block from you, who will drop everything in the middle of the night to help you, as I mentioned earlier. Don't give up. We have your back. We are so grateful for your service to our country, and this is a great world, a great country, that is worth fighting to protect and defend, and a life worth living."

Other participants in the Special Order included:

  • Rep. Jim Costa (D, CA-16)
  • Rep. Mike Garcia (R, CA-25)
  • Rep. Chris Jacobs (R, NY-27)
  • Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R, NC-11)
  • Rep. John Rutherford (R, FL-4)
  • Rep. Buddy Carter (R, GA-1)

Watch the full Special Order here.