January 25, 2022

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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Delivers Remarks at the Civil Rights Division’s Virtual Program: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

12 min read
<div>Hello, everyone. It is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the Department of Justice and our Civil Rights Division, to this convening honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.</div>
Hello, everyone.

It is my pleasure to welcome you, on behalf of the Department of Justice and our Civil Rights Division, to this convening honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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To inform new veterans about the health care services it offers, VA has increased outreach efforts to servicemembers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Outreach efforts, coupled with expanded access to VA health care for these new veterans, are likely to result in greater numbers of veterans with PTSD seeking VA services. Congress highlighted the importance of VA PTSD services more than 20 years ago when it required the establishment of the Special Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Special Committee) within VA, primarily to aid Vietnam-era veterans diagnosed with PTSD. A key charge of the Special Committee is to make recommendations for improving VA's PTSD services. The Special Committee issued its first report on ways to improve VA's PTSD services in 1985 and its latest report, which includes 37 recommendations for VA, in 2004. The Special Committee reports also include evaluations of whether VA has met or not met the recommendations made by the Special Committee in prior reports. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a world leader in PTSD treatment and offers PTSD services to eligible veterans. To inform new veterans about the health care services it offers, VA has increased outreach efforts to servicemembers returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Outreach efforts, coupled with expanded access to VA health care for these new veterans, are likely to result in greater numbers of veterans with PTSD seeking VA services. Congress asked us to determine whether VA has addressed the Special Committee's recommendations to improve VA's PTSD services. 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