Honor for ALL has one central objective – Visible Honor for Invisible Wounds
Service members who fight for our nation and return home struggling with the effects of an invisible wound should not have to be additionally burdened by a stigma which labels their battle-borne injury a disorder. No one wants to be told they have a disorder, least of all a proud young veteran. Their most instinctive and immediate reaction is to deny it.
Denial interferes with timely treatment which can lead to dangerous, needless, and too often fatal, consequences.
In February of 2015 Honor for ALL began working with Adjutant Generals Association of the United States (AGAUS) and National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) on a campaign to enlist all state legislatures and governors to adopt individual yearly resolutions and proclamations designating June 27 as Post-traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day and June as Post-traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Month. In 2015, the United States Senate, House of Representatives and 8 individual states presented proclamations and/or resolutions designating 27 June as Post-traumatic Stress Awareness Day – some still standing with the word disorder, but many making the progression to Post-traumatic Stress Injury Awareness.
On June 24 this year, the US Senate adopted Senate Resolution, SR 512 – designating June 2016 as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Month” and June 27, 2016, as “National Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day.”
The US Senate was joined by two states in name the day Post-Traumatic Stress Awareness Day.
However, 24 other states, either by legislative resolution and gubernatorial proclamation, went beyond this designation calling for Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day.
By introducing the word “injury” in lieu of “disorder” in the designation, our objective is to simply and effectively diminish the stigma associated with invisible wounds and their perception as mental illness. We believe the use of the word disorder conveys a negative image which can discourage some from seeking care and others from caring. Further, its use in this instance actually assails the sense of honor that should accompany any wound received by a service member in action against an enemy of the United States. It is not our intention to eliminate any established clinical language, only to offer a kinder, more honorable civic term. Precedent for such a dual name allowance appears in DSM-5 in §300.23 – Social Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia. One diagnosis with two allowable names. No difference in criteria, eligibility or benefits.
Our goal is to enlist all 50 states and Congress in this campaign to establish a recurrent special day of recognition that can be commemorated with meaningful local events nationwide. As of May 21 we now have legislative resolutions and/or gubernatorial proclamations designating June 27, 2016 as Post-traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day from 31 states with 8 pending. Only 11 states have yet to commit.