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Honourable Senators, post-traumatic stress disorder is a silent hurt that affects many of our veterans and emergency responders.

A few years ago, not many knew what PTSD was, and now we are only beginning to understand a bit about the causes and treatments that are available. I can speak from personal experience. I can recall the first gunshot wound that I ever saw. I can see the boy's face. I can see what he was wearing to this day. This is just a touch of what people who suffer from PTSD have to go through while they struggle with this affliction.

On Monday I had the honour of introducing two Afghanistan veterans to the students of Port Elgin Regional School. Corporal Langevin and Sergeant Murray attended with their PTSD service dogs, Hank and Vivian. The children were eager to participate during the question and answer session and they seemed to really understand that you have to be aware of PTSD and its effects on people, and that it can affect anyone.

The service dogs are a great example of how we are finding ways to help people to cope with PTSD. Hank and Vivian were specially trained by an organization that supports our veterans to help them overcome this debilitating illness. Many of these special service dogs come from local shelters. The trainers told me that these dogs do very well as service dogs because they understand what it's like to be alone and frightened and know what it means to be traumatized.

Colleagues, we need to support our veterans, and we have to help people understand that PTSD can and does affect anyone at any time and any place. It is not limited by age, gender or occupation. Everyone can get PTSD, and if we talk openly about it we can recognize it for what it is and help people get the assistance they need. Please join me in supporting our veterans who suffer from this disorder. Please support groups like Wounded Warriors who help provide service dogs for them and their families.