A picture of Representative Ryan A. Costello
Ryan C.
Republican PA 6

About Rep. Ryan
  • Servicemember Assistance for Lawful Understanding, Treatment, and Education Act

    by Representative Ryan A. Costello

    Posted on 2015-02-04

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    COSTELLO of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, last week, my fellow Chester County Congressman, Patrick Meehan, introduced the Servicemember Assistance for Lawful Understanding, Treatment, and Education Act, otherwise known as the SALUTE Act.

    I want to praise Congressman Meehan for his leadership on this issue and speak a little bit about it in support of the SALUTE Act.

    {time} 1015 It is going to help veterans overcome addictions and PTSD by providing yearly Federal funding for Veterans Treatment Courts. This is an opportunity for all of us to help troubled veterans break free of the cycle and get the help that they need.

    It is estimated that one in five veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will experience a stress-related [[Page H761]] mental illness. Veterans Treatment Courts assist soldiers who are charged with nonviolent crimes and who are struggling with certain addictions or mental illnesses. Veterans Treatment Courts provide an opportunity for them to get their lives back on the right track and to not spiral down a track of addiction.

    Pennsylvania, as you may know, is a hub of veterans courts, as 18 counties have them. In fact, three counties that I represent--Chester, Montgomery, and Berks--have Veterans Treatment Courts, and I have seen firsthand as the Chester County commissioner how impactful and effective they can be. I have witnessed firsthand how important it is to the lives of returning veterans. So I share with you a quote that I received from Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan: These brave men and women have sacrificed so much to serve our country and protect our freedom. We owe it to them to help them when they return home. Veterans court provides the structure and support to address the unique needs of combat veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system. It is our duty to thank our veterans by offering help as they readjust to civilian life.

    I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the SALUTE Act, and I want to thank, again, Congressman Meehan for introducing it. When the time comes, I encourage my colleagues to full-heartedly support the SALUTE Act. It is commonsense legislation that will help our Nation's heroes.


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