New semipostal stamp brings awareness of PTSD

By: 
Jordan Gerard

 

Stamps make envelopes look good and get the mail to and from, but a new stamp aims to bring awareness to an important topic.

A new semipostal stamp from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) will bring awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), with proceeds benefitting veterans.

This is only the second semipostal stamp the USPS has issued. The first was Alzheimer’s awareness, which was available from 2017 to 2019. Five semipostal stamps will be issued in a 10-year period, according to a press release from the postal service.

This was made possible by the “Semipostal Authorization Act,” Pub. L. 106-253, which grants the USPS discretionary authority to issue and sell semipostal stamps to advance such causes as it considers to be “in the national public interest and appropriate,” the release said.

The stamps will cost 65 cents each, which is a 10-cent premium over the standard price. Proceeds from the semipostal stamps will benefit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the National Center for PTSD.

The release attributes the artwork to USPS Art Director Greg Breeding, with original art by Mark Laita. The green plant sprouting from the ground covered in fallen leaves symbolizes the healing process. 

“It stands for rebirth, which is what these soldiers need,” Marine veteran Dean Johnson said. “I like it. They have to find a way to start all over again.”

Johnson said the best way to combat PTSD is to “never think about it and push it out of your mind,” but added that only about 5 to 10% of veterans can do that.

“The vast majority of people that go through combat, they don’t like to talk about it,” he said. “Let them talk themselves through it if they want to.”

PTSD also affects families of veterans that have the disorder. Johnson said “it’s terrible and it’s terrible for us too.” 

What others can do for family and loved ones who have PTSD is “be there for them,” he added.

“You can’t go in there and take that part of their life away,” Johnson said. “It comes at such a high price. Once you go through something like that, you have to find reality again.”

PTSD is widely-known as a disorder that many people deal with after traumatic events such as experiencing combat, natural disasters, car accidents, fires, abuse of any kind and other situations.

Stamps are available at your local post office, can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724).