Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani's Veterans Day message to DPH Employees
Saturday is Veterans Day—a day set aside to pay tribute to all American veterans for their service to our country. Veterans Day honors the service, sacrifice, and achievements of the nearly 22 million living Americans who serve our nation in uniform and memorializes the countless sacrifices made by previous generations.
This Veterans Day, with extreme upheaval and violence in many parts of the world, there is more reason than ever to reflect upon the commitment and sacrifices foundational to our freedoms.
For generations, brave Americans have dedicated their lives to guarantee the basic safety and freedoms we live with today. Their experiences and stories are essential to our national identity and endure over time. It is important to recall and respect the sacrifices of past generations, while remembering that many living veterans today face undue hardships.
Physical and mental illnesses are disproportionately higher in our veterans. A 2021 report from NAMI suggests that 11 – 20% of veterans experience PTSD symptoms each year, in comparison to 4% of the general population. Research from Virginia Tech has shown that veterans are 57% more likely to commit suicide. In addition, many veterans experience physical service-related injuries. In a 2021 survey 54% of respondents reported lingering hearing loss related to their service, while 63% reported experiencing chronic pain. These physical and mental impacts can significantly affect quality of life for veterans, their families, and their communities.
On this Veterans Day, please take a moment to thank the individuals in your lives who have sacrificed so much for our country. Veterans serve to defend our rights, uphold our freedoms, and protect our peace; their sacrifices have secured our safety.
I would like to specifically extend my appreciation and gratitude to all the Connecticut Department of Public Health employees who have served our country. In addition to your military service, you continue to ensure the health and well-being of the residents of Connecticut. We are immeasurably grateful.