President George W. Bush has demanded a significant change in how military veterans are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Speaking at a summit on veterans in University Park, Texas, the former president argued that characterizing “post-traumatic stress” as a disorder could prevent veterans from getting good jobs and adjust to civilian life, ABC News reported.
“We’re getting rid of the D,” he said Wednesday. “PTS is an injury; it’s not a disorder. The problem is when you call it a disorder, [veterans] don’t think they can be treated.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, roughly 30 percent of post 9/11 veterans suffer from PTSD.
“These are men and women who volunteered in the face of danger. I mean, they knew right after 9/11 that the nation would seek justice and to protect ourselves,” Mr. Bush said. “And some got hurt, and some of them need a lot of help. And our nation owes a huge debt of gratitude.”
“Employers would not hesitate to hire an employee being treated for a medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, and they should not hesitate to hire veterans with post-traumatic stress,” he continued. “Post-traumatic stress, or PTS, is an injury that can result from the experience of war. And like other injuries, PTS is treatable.”
Mr. Bush was joined at the event by Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, and retired Marine Gen. Peter Pace, along with executives from Bank of America and 7-Eleven, the Dallas Morning News reported.