PNS Daily Newscast - July 6,2020 

Today is the final day to register to vote in Arizona's primary election; the FDA declines to back Trump claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are "harmless."

2020Talks - July 6, 2020 

This year's July 4th had COVID-19, ongoing protests about systemic racism, and a presidential visit to Mt. Rushmore. Plus, Trump signed an order to plan a new statue park.

Mental Health Check-Up for Veterans Today

July 16, 2007

Mental health check-up time today (Monday) for the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Department is meeting in Alexandria to focus on how to improve VA mental health services for returning combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. Staff and facility shortages have been well-documented, and the Department of Defense estimates that 50 percent of returning National Guard troops need mental health care. Vietnam veteran Clinton Pettus with the American Friends Service Committee says the meeting is a positive step toward "remembering the troops" once they get home.

"Maybe the conference will heighten citizen awareness. If enough people decide, 'We're going to make a difference,' it will change."

Pettus notes the repeated deployment of some of the troops, and extensions of missions, add to mental health risks.

He's detected some reluctance for a national discussion of mental health care for returning troops, and he's heard criticism leveled at those who have called for better treatment.

"It's not anti-American, or anti-anything. It's the reality that it is very difficult for most of us to deal with death and dying, and the fact that we participate in that death."

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - VA