Senator Boxer:  HONOR for our Service Members   

Thursday, April 16, 2009  

 Dear Friend:

I am pleased to let you know that I have joined Senators Kit Bond (R-MO) and a bipartisan coalition of Senators in introducing the Honoring Our Nation’s Obligations to Returning Warriors (HONOR) Act.  Our bill (S.772) seeks to improve treatment for our service members and veterans suffering with invisible injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury and increase care for military families.
 
Provisions in the HONOR Act will:

•Give active duty service members access to Vet Centers – the community-based counseling centers veterans use for mental health care services;
•Extend survivor benefits to families of military personnel who commit suicide and have service-related mental health conditions, including PTSD and TBI;  
•Establish a scholarship for service members who have served in a combat zone to seek professional degrees in behavioral sciences to provide assistance to active and former service members afflicted with psychological mental health conditions connected with traumatic events during combat;
•Create a program to employ and train combat veterans  as psychiatric technicians and nurses to provide counseling for active duty service members in immediate need of treatment; and
•Establish an annual joint review and report on the effectiveness of re-integration programs from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
 
This bipartisan bill will help ensure the best possible care for those brave individuals who incurred traumatic brain and mental injuries while serving their country.  We also help provide for the loved ones of those lost to suicide.  I look forward to working to see this bill become law.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer