The Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho establishing a task force to identify and address issues facing service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan.
Sen. Steven Oroho’s legislation establishes a task force to identify and address issues facing service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan. (Flickr)
“As many as 44 percent of veterans returning from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have reported having trouble returning to civilian life,” said Oroho. “From PTSD, to dealing with other injuries or medical conditions to finding employment to simply relating to everyday life and family relations these men and women face an array of formidable and long-lasting challenges and demand a strong network of supports.
“While I’m proud of the array of services New Jersey has in place to aid in this transition it is important we continually work to better understand the needs of these veterans and to update or add services where necessary to address needs that are not being met,” Oroho continued.
The legislation, S-2148, establishes an 11-member task force to identify and propose solutions for any issues and concerns facing service members returning from overseas deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The task force will consist of the Commissioners of Education, Labor and Workforce Development, Health and Senior Services, and Human Services, or their designees; the Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission, or a designee; and the Adjutant General of the
Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The Adjutant General will appoint five public members, with at least three persons with knowledge or experience in one of the following areas: demobilization and post deployment; post traumatic stress disorder, family readiness groups or family assistance centers; employer support groups; veterans service officers; issues relevant to women in the military and veteran homeless shelters.
“Bringing together this wide spectrum of experts will allow for a collaborative and holistic look at what can be done to better help these service members upon their return to communities across New Jersey,” Oroho added. “These men and women volunteered to put themselves in harms way to protect our safety. We owe them the respect of doing all we can to provide support when they return home.”