Kitty Dukakis, on Veterans’ Mental Health

Even less than honorably discharged veterans deserve our help #NYTLetters

She praises a remedy that will help those veterans who have less than honorably discharges.

@nytopinion: Even less than honorably discharged veterans deserve our help #NYTLetters

To the Editor:

Re “A Lifeline for Troubled Veterans” (editorial, March 12):

Thank you for your superb editorial on the subject of thousands of veterans who were discharged after their service in Iraq and Afghanistan with other than honorable discharges and who have serious mental health issues that are not being treated because they have no V.A.-provided health care.

You write, “Starting this summer, the agency decided, it will provide emergency mental health care to some veterans who received less than honorable discharges.”

As the editorial points out, on average we are losing 20 veterans a day to suicide. Some of them are these men and women. Whatever the problems that resulted in their discharges, they served us under very difficult circumstances in a very difficult part of the world.

As somebody who experienced recurring cycles of depression for many years before I discovered the answer in electroconvulsive therapy, I know something about what it is like to struggle with the pain of depression.

My hat is off to Secretary David Shulkin for starting this initiative and requesting funds from Congress to support it. It is long overdue.

Kitty Dukakis, on Veterans’ Mental Health