Veterans Job Act Passes Congress

Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. Photo courtesy of C-SPAN screen capture.

The House of Representatives by a unanimous vote of 422 to passed a bill aimed at reducing veterans unemployment by offering tax breaks to employers who hire them. The Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill last week and President Obama has said he would sign it.

The White House estimates there are 850,000 military veterans among the 14 million unemployed workers and in the next five years another 1 million service members will leave the military and enter the civilian workforce.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki offered his reaction to passage in a written statement:

 “The Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits will put more Veterans back to work by encouraging businesses to hire them, and send a message that a grateful Nation honors their service and sacrifice and wants to welcome them all the way home. This legislation also improves Servicemembers’ transition to civilian life and employment by expanding education and job training programs that will help them translate their military skills into high-demand sectors of our economy.”

Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Rep. Jeff Miller, said he’s committed to lowering unemployment among veterans to below 5 percent in the next two years.

You can read the details of the VOW Act, the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act of 2011, on the committee’s website HERE.

PTSD: Is Post Traumatic Stress Defined Too Broadly?

Image courtesy of the VA Research on PTSD.

A British university professor of psychology tells Salon that the definition of post traumatic stress  disorder (PTSD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is too broad. Stephen Joseph disagrees with lumping more common human experiences like car crashes with experiences like  “Vietnam or the Holocaust.”

In his new book, “What Doesn’t Kill Us,” the professor of psychology, health and social care at the University of Nottingham (in the U.K.) warns that our culture’s acceptance of PTSD has become excessive and has led to an over-medicalization of experiences that should be considered part of ordinary, normal, human experience. This has kept us from proactively working through our grief and anxiety: We’ve become too quick to go to the shrink expecting him to fix us, rather than allowing ourselves the opportunity to grow and find new meaning in our lives as a result of painful, but common, events.

Joseph acknowledged that that people can experience emotional pain because of a traumatic event and then go through “periods of avoidance and intrusion,” but he said that’s natural.

PTSD is when those experiences become so overwhelming that the person can’t function anymore –

Joseph advocates that people use their experiences of more common traumatic events as an opportunity to grow and prioritize their lives. You can read the full Salon interview with Joseph HERE.

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