Billionaire hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen has pledged $275 million to support military veterans and their families by opening up free mental-healthcare clinics across the country.
The Cohen Veterans Network officially launched its operations this week. The clinics will treat veterans, free of charge, who suffer from post-traumatic stress (PTS) and other mental health conditions, Cohen and executive director Dr. Anthony Hassan said in a release.
“The wounds of war are serious. It is not easy to serve your country in combat overseas and then come back into society seamlessly, especially if you are suffering,” Cohen said in a statement. “These men and women have paid an incredible price and it’s important that this country pays back that debt.”
He continued: “We will treat anyone who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war on terror. If you wore the uniform, and you need help, you are welcome at Cohen Veterans Network — period.”
More than 2.6 million men and woman have served in the military during the past 14 years of war. Around 20% of veterans experience some form of PTS and traumatic brain injury (TBI), while nearly 40% of returning veterans who suffer from mental health issues don’t seek treatment, CVN said in its release.
Over the next five years, Cohen Veterans Network plans to open 20 to 25 clinics. The first four Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics, located in New York, Dallas, San Antonio, and Los Angeles, will open by July. The fifth clinic will be in Philadelphia, and it’s scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.
Cohen will also pledge an additional $30 million or more through Cohen Veterans Bioscience, CVN’s sister organisation, for research programs.
On Wednesday evening, Cohen was honored by the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, an organisation that provides free education for the children of fallen Marines and law enforcement members.
Cohen comes from a military family. His son, Robert, served in the US Marine Corps in Afghanistan and is currently serving in the Reserves. Cohen’s father served in the Pacific during World War II.
“My dad taught me to believe that if you worked hard, and took risks, you could succeed in this country. And when my son became a Marine, he taught me that nothing I achieved would have been possible without the men and women of our military,” Cohen said during his speech.
“Our lives and our hopes rest on the freedom and security that they provide. We owe our veterans a debt that can never truly be repaid.”