November 11th, 2011
From Bill Weldon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson & Johnson
Each Veterans Day, Americans take a collective pause to express our gratitude for those who so honorably serve in the Armed Forces. We say a silent thank you for all who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom, and applaud the heroism and bravery of returning veterans whose visible wounds often bear witness to their time on the front lines. But this Veterans Day, many of our young men and women in uniform are struggling with less visible wounds: traumatic injuries that don’t require a prosthetic or wheelchair – yet leave deep and lasting scars on the mind.
The challenge of treating and curing diseases and injuries to the brain is more critical than ever. After nine years of frequent deployments, today’s combat veterans are increasingly suffering not only traumatic brain injuries but also the emotional and psychological wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental conditions including addiction, depression and suicide. A 2011 study of returning soldiers conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that one in five active duty and more than four in ten reserve soldiers had been diagnosed as needing mental health treatment.