051816 CongressmanGarland Denny was a patriotic, selfless and persistent local veteran.

Denny dedicated his retirement years to promoting several outside-the-box, creative ideas to increase funding for veterans’ services without increasing the tax burden, wisely recognizing that Washington bureaucrats don’t have all the answers.

One of his ideas was to create a “Stamp Out PTSD” semi-postal stamp. The semi-postal stamp would sell for more than the cost of first-class postage, with the difference being donated to PTSD treatment and research.

There are currently two similar semi-postal stamps in circulation, one for breast cancer research and one for endangered species. 

You might think having a new stamp created for such a great cause would be a simple enough task for Washington to handle, but you would be wrong. Even though Congress gave the United States Postal Service full authority to create new semi-postal stamps in 2005, the USPS had always declined to use that authority.  

Last summer, in support of Denny, I gathered 55 colleagues from the U.S. House and Senate and together, and we wrote the Postmaster General asking her to update USPS rules regarding semi-postal stamps with the hopes of accelerating Denny’s Stamp Out PTSD project. 

Acting upon my request, the USPS has just announced revised rules allowing for consideration of new semi-postal stamps to raise money for charitable causes, such as  Denny’s Stamp Out PTSD stamp.

Unfortunately, Denny passed away last October. However, his legacy lives on through his son, Chuck Denny, who has taken up his father’s mission and is working to submit an updated proposal based on the new USPS rules. My office is helping gather the necessary support from various government offices.  

Garland Denny was tenacious in his mission to support veterans. If he were still with us, I’m confident he’d already be on the phone building support for this new opportunity, and the Postal Service would be flooded with calls and letters urging the creation of the Stamp Out PTSD semi-postal stamp. 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, up to 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom experience PTSD. Among those who served in Desert Storm, roughly 12 percent experience PTSD, and the number increases drastically for our Vietnam veterans. Garland Denny made it his mission to make sure these brave Americans receive the proper treatment.

Garland Denny is a reminder that one committed American can make a big difference. Selfless patriots like  Garland and his son are what make this country great, and while their mission is not yet complete, we will continue to push forward until we Stamp Out PTSD.

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