I have made it my mission to keep our Veterans informed of the services available at the Veterans Administration Hospitals. It is there for their medical needs. You need to stay informed and up to date with their medical services that you may need. The VA Hospitals have had issues in the past, but they are constantly working to improve the services they are expected to provide to Veterans. So, please contact them about your needs. You have earned it.

Some of the most important issues that have plagued Veterans currently are PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and insomnia, or CBT-I. We have lost so many Veterans from these afflictions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. lives with a mental illness. However, with service members, that ratio jumps up. Nearly 1 in 4 active-duty members show signs of a mental health condition.

Whether it is a mental illness or disorder, it is triggered by their experiences in the armed services. Veterans need more support. In 2018, more than 1.7 million Veterans received treatment in a VA mental health program. But there are many Veterans that avoid seeking help. They have found that Veterans are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide. Besides PTSD, there is depression, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse disorders.

Many honor our Veterans on Veterans’ Day with words of gratitude, parades and ceremonies, but it should not end there and should not be confined to a single day. All year long, you can find ways to support Veterans, especially those with mental illnesses and disorders. Thank you for our freedom, brothers and sisters in arms. Migwetch (Thank you).

The new Veterans Crisis Line number: 988, then press 1.

Remember our monthly meeting of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Veterans Organization is the fourth Tuesday of each month (unless otherwise notified due to weather or conflicting events) at 6 p.m. (or as soon as you can get there) in the North Reunion Hall on the CPN Powwow Grounds. All CPN Veterans and spouses and their families are welcome. Membership in the Veterans organization is not required; come and visit us and enjoy our socializing. For more information you can contact Daryl Talbot.

Daryl Talbot, Commander