Pols: State money for veterans-support program restored

Martin C. Evans with Newsday

April 19, 2019

Originally published in Newsday on April 19, 2019.

County Executive Steve Bellone gathered with Suffolk lawmakers and veterans advocates Friday to celebrate the restoration of funding for a veterans-support program inspired by the death of a Suffolk Army medic — funds that had initially been omitted during negotiations over the state’s $175 billion budget.

At a veterans hall in Wyandanch, Bellone touted the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project as having helped more than 10,000 former military personnel battle with often debilitating psychological disorders associated with extreme fear and stress encountered during military service.

Known generally as post-traumatic stress disorder, this psychological condition often manifests itself in sleeplessness, paranoia, extreme rage, severe depression, social isolation and suicidal thoughts.

 “This model veterans program has a proven track record that has no doubt saved lives across the state,” Bellone said. 

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