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Hon. Corrine Brown, a Representative from the State of Florida

Thank you, Mr. Chairman for calling this hearing today to discuss the relationship between PTSD and Personality Disorders and treatment at the VA.

PTSD has been called many names through to many wars.  From “soldier’s heart” in the Civil War, to “shell shock” in World War I and “combat” or “battle fatigue” in World War II.

Other terms used to describe military-related mood disturbances include "nostalgia", "not yet diagnosed nervous", "irritable heart", "effort syndrome", "war neurosis", and "operational exhaustion.”

Yet the name is not important for the disease, but how those affected are treated.

The men and women in our military are risking their lives to defend the freedom of this country and for us to throw them away after their operational usefulness has ended is inhuman and un-American.

I am reminded of the words of the first President of the United States, George Washington, whose words are worth repeating at this time:

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.''

I look forward to hearing the testimony of those panelists here today and learn how to best help those who have bravely served our nation in war.