Representative Cramer's Veterans Advisory Board Tackles Tough Is - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Representative Cramer's Veterans Advisory Board Tackles Tough Issues

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North Dakotans volunteer for military service four times the national average.  This might suggest the state's returning veterans seek treatment for mental health challenges related to their service more often too.  Representative Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said that doesn't appear to be the case, even though incidences of mental health issues and suicides among returning vets are on the rise nationally.

Still, when it comes to medical treatment for veterans, he says North Dakota has some challenges unique to a rural state -- like the fact the lone V.A. hospital is at one end of the state where most veterans are not.  "There's got to be a way to find enough health care service providers that can meet the needs of our returning veterans in a way that also acknowledges, though, the uniqueness of a veteran's need," says Representative Cramer.

To address this, and other issues, Representative Cramer has formed the Veterans Advisory Board.  They say stigma is another issue vets still face.  "There are actual employers out there that are jittery about hiring veterans, and that's what we need to uncreate, because hiring a veteran in today's world is, you get a leadership level that is unmatchable," says Lt. Colonel Davina French, Government Affairs Officer, ND National Guard.  

The first meeting of Representative Cramer's Veterans Advisory Board made up of veterans' organization leaders was held today.  The group plans to tackle issues such as claims backlogs, suicide prevention, sexual assault and mental health services.

 

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