The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution authored by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., designating June 27 as National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day.
"The stress of war can take a toll on one’s heart, mind and soul. While these wounds may be less visible than others, they are no less real," Conrad said in a statement. "All too many of our service men and women are returning from battle with PTSD symptoms like anxiety, anger, and depression. More must be done to educate our troops, veterans, families and communities about this illness and the resources and treatments available to them."
According to a news release, Conrad developed the idea for national awareness day after learning of the efforts of North Dakota National Guardsmen to draw attention to PTSD and pay tribute to Staff Sgt. Joe Biel, a member of the 164th Engineer Combat Battalion. Biel suffered from PTSD and took his life in April 2007 after returning to North Dakota following his second tour in Iraq.
Earlier this month, Conrad visited the Fargo VA Medical Center and met with physicians and social workers to discuss their capabilities for helping those suffering from PTSD. He also met with friends of Biel and presented them a copy of the resolution designating June 27 — Biel’s birthday — as National PTSD Awareness Day.