To the editor:

Thank you for your front page story on U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton’s story and struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from Iraq in 2008 (“Moulton opens up about mental health struggles to help others,” May 30). He is one of the lucky: able to ask for help, and receive it. How many more veterans are suffering in silence, or self-medicating, or contemplating suicide after their return?

Supporting our troops is not merely a bumper sticker or a flag. We must support our troops by meeting their needs: health, employment, rehabilitation and connection with community.

Rep. Moulton called for frequent mental health checkups and counseling for returning veterans, as well as “a more holistic approach...such as mindfulness, exercise and cannabis.” He understands that PTSD, like grief, is not linear, nor responsive to a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

When our elected officials want to increase spending on weaponry and walls, and our own veterans continue to suffer, something is terribly wrong. Moulton wrote in a Memorial Day editorial of a friend who overdosed: “He didn’t die in the war, he died because of the war.” Let us speak out against empty rhetoric and let us speak up for our troops. Let their return home be met with the services they desperately need, and deserve. We can do better.

Heidi Wakeman

Gloucester