We’re 1 Step Closer To Providing Veterans W/ PTSD W/ Service Dogs
Statistics show that approximately 20 veterans die from suicide everyday. EVERY. DAY. Let that sink in.
Ensuring that veterans are given the resources they need when they return home has been an ongoing battle that has been happening for years.
How sad is that? These people go out and fight for us and then when they come back, we are basically saying, "Thanks and good luck with that!"
A big part of that battle that people are looking to change is providing service dogs to veterans with mental health issues because getting a service dog is a timely and costly task. (A cost that most veterans can't afford)
Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs only covers the cost of a service dog if it involves mobility issues.
So the good news is that according to Military.com, the VA has pitched, "a 5-year pilot to give grants to one or more organizations to train and provide service dogs to veterans with post-traumatic stress and other post-deployment mental health issues."
Long story short, the hope is that the cost of providing a service dog to a veteran suffering from mental health issues following deployment will fall on the Department of Veterans Affairs.
And we are happy to report that this new bill passed through the House UNANIMOUSLY this past Wednesday.
The bill was brought to the table by Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio who also serviced in Iraq.
"A soldier under my command during Operation Iraqi Freedom recently told me what his service dog means to him: he was able to fly on a plane for the first time in 10 years and he took his fiancée to dinner," Stivers said in a statement when H.R. 4305 was introduced. "That is the impact this bill can have on the lives of our veterans."
The VA is currently in the middle of conducting a study to see if service dogs actually do help veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental health problems.
I already know the answer to that question and so do you! But we all know that to make a big change that costs money, the people in charge need cold, hard facts to validate the expenses. Oh the world we live in.
The results will be revealed in six months and then a study will be conducted to see if the service dog helped to reduce "health economics savings" which are things like hospital stays or reliance on medication.
Now the bill goes to the Senate. Keep your fingers crossed that they do what is right.
Speak up because hearing from the public may help to get this bill passed and put into action.
And to all of our Veterans: I am sorry that this is even being debated. You fought for us. You protected us. And this is how we repay you. I am hoping change is on the horizon.
Take a look at the original article at Military.com.