Veterans History Project Panel Discussion on Effects of PTSD, May 24

The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress will host a panel discussion on the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the veteran community.

At noon on Wednesday, May 24, a panel of renowned experts will speak on the effects of PTSD on veterans and how the Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC) support those who have run afoul of the law by proving appropriate treatment. The panel, in honor of Memorial Day and in anticipation of National PTSD Awareness Month, will be held in room 119 on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Tickets are not needed but RSVP is required. Reservations may be made by sending an email to

The panel will be moderated by Army War College professor Jonathan Elias, the host of WJLA-TV’s “Salute to Veterans.” Opening remarks will be offered by formerJustice for Vets Senior Director and current leader of National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ forthcoming Advancing Justice: A Global Initiative to Lead Justice Reform, Melissa Fitzgerald, also known for her role on “The West Wing,” and Chief Counsel of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals Major General Clyde “Butch” Tate (retired). Panelists include Judge Vance Peterson of the Veterans Treatment Courts of Spokane County, a Vietnam-era and Afghanistan veteran; Bernie Edelman, author of “Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam” and Vietnam veteran; Dr. Tom Berger, the chair of Vietnam Veterans of America’s PTSD and Substance Abuse Committee and Vietnam veteran; Greg Crawford, correctional program specialist at the National Institute of Corrections and veteran; and Timothy Wynn, Veterans Treatment Courts graduate, Iraq veteran, and Philadelphia Police Department instructor. CNN anchor Jake Tapper will introduce Elias and provide summary comments of the panelist’s discussion.

Nearly 40 percent of veterans with PTSD will commit a violent crime at some point in their lives. In 2008, the first Veterans Treatment Court was created by Judge Robert Russell in Buffalo, NY. Since then, over 300 Veterans Treatment Courts have been established in the U.S. and thousands of veterans have benefited. Veterans complete a course which can include mental-health treatment, community service, job training, rehab, and jail time. They are led through the process by an assigned mentor.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the first-hand remembrances of U.S. veterans from WWI through the current conflicts, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. For more information, visit or call (888) 371-5848. You can follow the Veterans History Project via its Facebook page at .

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