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The Veterans Administration has decided to make it easier for vets to file disability claims related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. As many as 20 percent of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan may be suffering from PSTD. The VA's change in policy means that vets will no longer have to document a specific traumatic event to be able to apply for help. On this rebroadcast of today's To the Point, guest host Sara Terry looks at how are the VA and other organizations working with vets to heal what have been called the hidden wounds of war. Also, Roman Polanski is a free man, and why President Obama isn't speaking at the NAACP convention this year.

Banner image: Program facilitator Dan McSweeney gives a presentation about PTSD treatment December 15, 2009 at Fort Hamilton Army Garrison in Brooklyn, New York. Photo: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Producers:
Darrell Satzman
Karen Radziner
Katie Cooper

Main Topic VA Takes More Liberal Stance on PTSD

The Veterans' Administration has changed its policy regarding disability claims for veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders. After years of complaints from veterans' advocates that the VA's rules were too tough, it will now be possible for veterans to make a claim without having to prove they suffered a specific traumatic event. Some two million soldiers have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 9/11, and one study says that as many as twenty percent of them may suffer from these psychological wounds of war. Why has the policy change taken so long? How will this change affect the hundreds of thousands of soldiers believed to be struggling with PTSD? What kind of treatment works?

Guests:
Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post (@edatpost)
Lisa Jaycox, Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corp
Donna Perdue, Veteran, Marine Corps
Sally Satel, Psychiatrist and Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Ian de Planque, Deputy Director, American Legion’s Veteran Affairs and Rehabilitation Division

Reporter's Notebook Obama Skips Tradition of Attending NAACP Convention

President Barack Obama spoke at the NAACP centennial convention last year, but is raising some eyebrows this year for being a no-show. George Bush was slammed for being the only president since Herbert Hoover to turn down invitations to speak at the organization's annual convention, until he finally accepted its invitation during his second term. This year the President is sending First Lady Michelle Obama to speak. Wayne Bennett, who blogs as "The Field Negro," is an attorney in the Philadelphia Family Courts.

Guests:
Wayne Bennett, TheFieldNegro.com (@fieldnegro)

Making News Switzerland Rejects US Extradition Request for Polanski

Roman Polanski was declared a free man today after Switzerland rejected a US request to extradite the famed director to face justice for forced sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. It is unclear what legal options are left for Los Angeles prosecutors now. Is this the end of road for the 33-year-old case? Linda Deutsch is a special correspondent for Associated Press, based in Los Angeles.

Guests:
Linda Deutsch, Associated Press (@AP)

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