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Zeldin Tries To Expand Veteran Counseling Program Across The Country

Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York
J.D. Allen/WSHU News
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Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York

U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin of Long Island has renewed his push to expand a popular peer-to-peer veteran counseling service that he helped create on Long Island.

The Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program helps military service members in New York with mental health conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Zeldin is an Iraq War veteran. He has introduced legislation to expand the program to all 50 states.

“Strong men and women come home. They look like they're in one piece physically, but they have the mental wounds of war following them back,” Zeldin said.

The program began in Suffolk County eight years ago. Now, it’s available in 25 counties across the state.

It’s named after Private First Class Joseph Dwyer, an Iraq War veteran from Mt. Sinai who died from a suspected drug overdose in 2008.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.