303 Ashe Avenue.
Raleigh, NC 27606
October 22, 2016
Dear Next President,
If you have ever suffered or known someone who suffers due to PTSD or depression, you will understand what an impact it can have on your life. An estimated 15.2% of Americans are currently or have previously served in the military. That averages to around 50 million people. That’s 50 million Americans who are at a high risk for depression, PTSD, and possibly even suicide. According to a MilitaryTimes article, “New VA study finds 20 veterans commit suicide each day.” Is it fair to our soldiers that when they need us most we aren’t there?
There are many independent organizations that raise money for veterans. But unfortunately, as with any corporation, they can be corrupt. One of the most well-known charities for veterans called the Wounded Warrior Project earned a "C" according to charitywatch.org. Only 54% of the money they earn was going to wounded veterans. They also lacked medical care for the mental health of veterans. Instead, they would splurge on lavish staff parties and group retreats.
In September 2016, Frank Lesnefsky shared with CBS News his struggle and how long he went before he found help. This brave hero turned to alcohol as a way to cope and almost resorted to ending his life, before he found the help he needed. So many veterans don’t find that help. Next president, consider your veterans and move to make a change. Making medication for PTSD more available, or funding more research could be the start of so many more lives saved.
Cari K. and Gofran A.
Wake Young Women’s Leadership Academy