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Veterans With Traumatic Brain Injury: Is America Meeting Their Needs

I'm still in Washington, DC, scheduled to participate today in a national town hall meeting convened to answer the pressing questions of how to respond to the immediate and long term needs of returning service members suffering from traumatic brain injury.

Some of this issues scheduled to be discussed in this all day program include important issues of how to identify returning vets suffering from brain damage; evaluation of proposed legislation; community reentry including vocational rehabilitation,education reentry and access to transportation.

Scheduled to participate in today's meeting are the leading policy maker's involved in public policy issues surrounding traumatic brain injury including members of Congress, representatives of the Center for Disease Control, members of the military and veteran's affairs as well as the leading groups in this Country that shape the debate regarding brain trauma including the Brain Injury Association of America, the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center and state brain injury associations.

I look forward to a lively discussion of the issues especially in light of the conclusions of a separate panel which was part of a day long Washington Defense Forum sponsored by the U.S. Naval Institute and the Military Officers Association of America.  The meeting which took place on Tuesday, concluded that the bureaucracies that are supposed to help brain-injured war veterans are too complex for them to navigate.  Specifically, the departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense need better coordination of their programs, according to the panel.

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Comments

SDeeNicholson

Twenty-five years ago we became personally aware of the woeful shortcomings of the Veterans Affairs and their health care programs for brain injured veterans. My sister was a 21-year-old brain injured Airforce veteran and it took close to 13 years to navigate the VA system. We had to go to a "fee services" type program to get her the long-term care she needed, something that the VA was reluctant to do.

Brain injuries have been miss-understood and under-treated by the general medical establishment, but you would think the Military would be experts in this area as their profession surely causes many brain injuries. My sister is now 46 years old and it is discouraging that the current status of the system is still indicative of the continued disregard of the needs of the people who serve the country.

I'm impressed with this site's mission, and I look forward to monitoring the progress of the issues.

chris

I agree! the vets issue is growing given 'police conflict' in Iraq.

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