Freshman Florida Rep. Michael Waltz (R) announced this week that a bipartisan effort was introducing a bill to leverage research of the United States and Israel to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
The United States-Israel PTSD Collaborative Research Act, introduced by Waltz, Chrissy Houlahan (D), Lee Zeldin (R) and Elaine Luria (D), is designed to leverage research assets and any experiences of the United States and Israel to develop the best possible practices in the research, diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.
This legislation would also establish a grant program for universities in America and private non-profits teaming with their Israeli counterparts to study PTSD.
In a statement, Waltz championed the bill, commenting that “too many of our veterans come home to experience PTSD.”
As such, “this… is in no way their fault and we must do everything we can to support those who struggle and fight for them as they have for us.” And, Waltz asserted that “this legislation sends a message to all our veterans” that “we will never forget the sacrifices you have made and we will use every tool at our disposal to help you as you transition to civilian life.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that between 11 and 20 percent of veterans that served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have returned with PTSD. In addition, female veterans involved in these conflicts have returned with a higher rate of PTSD, citing almost 20 percent as being diagnosed with PTSD.
“If we want to thank our veterans for putting their lives on the line for our freedoms, we should ensure they lead happy, healthy lives when they return home,” concluded Waltz.