North Dakota’s Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer have helped introduce bipartisan legislation that designates June 27 as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day” and the month of June as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Month.”
“Our men and women in uniform are asked to endure tremendous hardship while in service to our nation, which often impacts them and their loved ones well beyond their time in the military,” said Hoeven. “It is crucial that we provide the support and treatment our veterans need as they work to cope with and overcome post-traumatic stress. We continue our efforts to do just that within the VA, through local providers and by expanding access to alternative treatment options.”
“Members of our armed forces sacrificed everything to serve our nation and protect us at home; we owe them our all,” said Cramer. “Those who suffer from PTSD often feel alone, helpless, and unsure how to readjust to civilian life. Designating June as National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Month shines a light on the resources available to veterans and reaffirms our commitment to ensuring they receive the care and assistance they need.”
In 2010, former Senator Kent Conrad led the Senate in designating the first National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. The resolution honored the legacy of North Dakota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Joe Biel, who suffered from PTSD and, after returning home to North Dakota from his second tour of duty in Iraq, took his life in April 2007. Staff Sgt. Biel’s birthday, June 27, was chosen to mark “National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day.”
This year’s resolution was introduced by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
In addition to Hoeven and Cramer, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.).