Saturday, August 19, 2006

Congress wants to CUT Veterans Funding AND RUN from Responsiblity

Father Tim is not the only veteran that Congress is pulling the funding plug.

When a Marine in Fallujah barely escapes an RPG attack, or an IED explodes near a soldier's Humvee, the blast can cause the troop's brain to slam against in the inside of his skull. The result is Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, which can cause dizziness, problems with vision, hearing, or speech, memory loss, and even severe brain damage. At least 100,000 troops serving in Iraq or Afghanistan have been affected by TBI. Military experts say that one in ten new veterans, or more than one hundred thousand people, suffer from TBI.

But the 2007 Defense Appropriations bill gives TBI research and treatment only $7 million dollars -- half of what it received last year. And ridiculously, this is barely above the budget authorization of $6.5 million in fiscal 2001 --- when we were not at war.

Initially brain injuries may go undiagnosed when there are other physical combat injuries present only to be discovered later. Failure by Congress to fund these programs may result in the State of Minnesota having to provide care through vocational rehabilitation, employment services, education, home health care, mental health, substance abuse, and long-term care services. When families are no longer able to provide the personal care for these individuals, the families turn to the State as the only source of help.

From my research, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Barack Obama (D-IL) are working to restore these cuts, but your support is needed. Below listed is a link to a sample letter that could be sent to our Senators as the House has already approved this budget cut.
Also, there are two articles about the subject.

America's wounded warriors deserve better.

And if you don’t know about Father Tim, see my earlier post.

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