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Doing the right thing by our vets

   They answered the call. Now they need to be heard.

   Veterans Day was a reminder of the sacrifice made by so many on America's behalf. Thousands of veterans of the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars have come back emotionally damaged. I wrote today about Tonawanda's Denise Simmance, whose son Chris returned from the Middle East a broken man. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that fed a downward spiral of drinking, broken relationships and job loss.

   Despite several suicide attempts, his treatment by an overstressed Veterans Administration system is heavy on medication and light on spirit-healing counseling. Critics say that this is typical for emotionally damaged vets across the country, who need far more psychological counseling than they are getting. I think we need to repay our debt to them by making sure they get the care they need.

   -- Donn Esmonde


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