The Ottumwa Courier

May 7, 2013

Address mental health concerns for veterans

Ottumwa Courier

---- — Memorial Day will soon be here and we will pay tribute to our deceased loved ones.

This Memorial Day, let's pay special tribute to our deceased veterans — like my dad — Don Butts, who served in World War II (Battle of the Bulge — one of the worst battles of the entire war). But also let's pay tribute to our current soldiers and also our veterans who suffer from obvious perils such as a loss of limbs. Let's pay tribute to the military people who suffer from mental disorders. This is not something our society wants to see and recognize. But these people are out there and suffer daily from post-traumatic stress disorder, hyperness, depression and many other forms of mental issues. I watched my dad suffer.

Some of our veterans came home to this hidden scar. Many still do not know they are suffering.

I know my dad suffered from this, but it wasn't recognized for World War II boys, or even boys from Korea or Vietnam. Yet there were many with this unknown diagnosis.

Let's show our veterans we thank them for their service. Now what can we as a country do for you who served so well, yet suffer in silence?

Let's welcome our veterans properly with love, compassion and treatment.

Amy J. Butts