Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced the creation of a peer to peer veterans counseling program in Nassau County to help veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Senator Fuschillo joined with Senator Dean Skelos, Senator Lee Zeldin, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and local veterans in announcing funding for the PFC Joseph Dwyer Program, which was included in the 2013-2014 state budget.
“Expanding the Dwyer program to Nassau County will give local veterans affected by PTSD and traumatic brain injury greater access to the care they need. These brave men and women risked their lives on the battlefield to protect us. Their lives should not be at risk again because the necessary care was not available when they returned home. This is an innovative and invaluable service which will now be able to help even more of our American heroes in their time of need,” said Senator Fuschillo.
The PFC Joseph Dwyer Program is an innovative program that provides “peer-to-peer” counseling between veterans who personally understand the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The program began last year in four test counties, including Suffolk County. This year’s state budget included funding to expand the program to Nassau County and six other counties throughout the state.
This program is named after Army Private First Class Joseph Dwyer of Mount Sinai. Private Dwyer was a heroic veteran of the Iraq war who died tragically from the effects of PTSD in 2008. The program will be administered in Nassau County by the Nassau County Mental Health Association and the Nassau County Veterans Service Agency.
Senator Fuschillo is pictured as he speaks about the new peer to peer veterans counseling program that will be set up in Nassau County. He is joined by (l-r) Town of Oyster Bay Veterans Service Officer Walter Schmidt, Nassau County Veterans Service Agency Deputy Director Scott Castillo, Nassau County Veterans Service Agency Director Joseph Pascarella, County Executive Mangano, Senator Skelos, and Senator Zeldin.