For many veterans and active-duty personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) there are no blatant outward signs of the disorder. New legislation introduced by State Sen. Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield) of Massachusetts would provide veterans and active-duty personnel suffering from PTSD the ability to place a designation on their license alerting the viewer of the license holders’ PTSD diagnosis.
James Norchi is a Naval Vietnam Veteran, and urged Sen. Downing to introduce the legislation. Georgia passed a very similar law last year, yet only 5 veterans in the entire state of Georgia have requested the PTSD designation be placed on their license, according to Georgia authorities.
Just as is happening in Massachusetts, veterans groups adamantly objected to the legislation passing. Those groups believe the PTSD designation would only serve as fodder for people who may over-react to their PTSD status such as police officers and airport security screeners.
Downing believes the PTSD designator positively serves both the person suffering from PTSD as well as the person interacting with that individual as it may provide a heads up or an early warning of potential issues.
The fact remains there is still a strong stigma surrounding both PTSD, deserved or not. Active duty soldiers fear ruining their military careers and therefore do not want to draw any unwanted attention to possible negative aspects of their lives. As an alternative, it has been suggested soldiers be issued simple wallet cards they can produce when necessary instead of having the PTSD designation directly on their driver’s license.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.