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Opening Statement of Hon. Harry E. Mitchell, a Representative in Congress from the State of Arizona

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  I am very pleased that this committee is addressing the issue of service-members who have been denied treatment of their PTSD due to a determination of a preexisting personality disorder. This topic is one which needs all the attention we can give it.  While I understand that this situation is happening in our Armed Forces, I believe that Congress as a duty and responsibility to shed light on this deplorable situation. 

It has always amazed me that it is somehow acceptable to treat people suffering from “unseen” mental injuries any differently than if they had a visual wound or impairment. 

I look forward to hearing from our panelists and to working with this committee to do everything in our power to make sure that this practice stops.

Mr. Chairman, I ask that we continue to follow up with these soldiers when they transition to our jurisdiction in the Veterans Affairs system to make sure that they get the services they need while this egregious policy is being rectified.