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Letter: Acknowledge trauma for vets and families

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY) listens to Iraqi war

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-NY) listens to Iraqi war veteran Kristofer Goldsmith of Long Beach, on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, speak about his forced discharge from the Army following a suicide attempt. He discusses how he began organizing, and eventually persuaded the Senator to propose legislation that would curb the practice of kicking soldiers out of the military because of service-related psychological problems. Goldsmith is surrounded by other Iraqi war veterans, in Garden City. Credit: Howard Schnapp

I would like to put an exclamation point on "Troubled vets, troubled families" [News, April 16].

As more of our soldiers return home from war by 2015, it is not only they who need medical and mental health attention. If their immediate families can't understand what their loved ones have gone through, the astonishingly high suicide rate will remain high.

I hope that more mental health professionals on Long Island will reach out to the 140,000 veterans in our community and offer our soldiers hope.

Hutch Dubosque, Huntington

Editor's note: The writer is the vice president of the PTSD Veterans Association of Northport.

Your editorial "Troubled soldiers deserve informed evaluations" [April 23] is so valid!

The legislation proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that would require at least one mental health professional on military boards to review discharges is most welcome, long overdue and urgently deserved.

As we have seen all too often, warfare leaves emotional scars. We need a process for veterans to appeal discharges below the level of "honorable," when these designations didn't take into account the psychological trauma they experienced.

Patricia Bishop-Kelly, Huntington Station

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Suffolk County Board of Health.