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The Day: Courtney says more military personnel may seek treatment for sexual trauma

December 4, 2017
In The News

Norwich — At a meeting of his Veterans Advisory Board on Monday, U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, told the head of the VA Connecticut healthcare system that there might be an uptick in people accessing VA services.

Courtney authored language included in a massive defense policy bill passed recently by Congress to expand sexual trauma counseling and treatment to members of the National Guard and Reserves. The bill still has to be signed by President Donald Trump, and Congress must still find a way to pay for the $700 billion measure.

A technicality in an existing law prevented most members of the guard and reserves from using the military sexual trauma program at the VA. Under a 2014 law, active duty members were authorized to access services and counseling through the VA's MST program without a referral from the Department of Defense. The thinking was that service members would feel more comfortable seeking care outside of their chain of command or military treatment facilities.


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