Veteran’s Day: The Toledo Blade ran a story today explaining that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans is not getting the attention it needs. And as a result, veterans are falling through the mental health cracks. Like “Paul” (not his real name). We met Paul in a small town in southern Washington several years ago while doing some cross-country research. He was a Vietnam Vet who was living by himself on a houseboat. He’d been a medic, and for three days he had ferried injured soldiers off “Hamburger Hill,” the site of a battle that claimed the second most American casulties during that war. When the intense fighting was over, Paul covered himself with a tarp and curled into a fetal position on the ground. Since, he has battled extreme Post Traumatic Stress that had him all but housebound. I vividly remember him describing the only time he really felt comfortable was getting in a small skiff and heading up river to an island by a railroad bridge — that reminded him of a particular spot in Vietnam. He would spend weeks in a tent on this small island in southern Washington just, well, surviving. While the VA was providing some things like Valium for Paul’s nerves, and a bit of counseling, what he really needed to be well again, is some long term, indepth psychotherapy and an extensive support network. To draw from some recent campaign rhetoric: This is like sending people off to win the war, without having a plan to win the peace — of mind. Perhaps today, part of “honoring” these soldiers could be to, not only look into our hearts, but our wallets… and voluntarily send a significant amount of money to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, so these veterans, like Paul, can get all the help they need. I mean, they risked their lives. It’s the least we can do.