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Public Statements

Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


WOUNDED WARRIOR ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2007

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Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Chairman, I rise to speak in support of H.R. 1538, the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, which will help correct the unconscionable deficiencies exposed by the Washington Post at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. H.R. 1538 will improve the delivery of medical services to our wounded warriors who have done all that we have asked of them. We now must honor our commitment to them to care for them when they are injured.

H.R. 1538 provides the basic services we would have expected for our wounded service personnel such as readily available case managers and advocates to assist incapacitated patients receive appropriate care, improved training of health care professionals and better monitoring of out-patients to ease the transition to the VA medical care system. The Walter Reed experience showed that we cannot rely on the current system to provide these basic services and care.

I am particularly pleased with the attention we will finally pay to the mental injuries, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, that can be as crippling and incapacitating to our soldiers and veterans as physical injuries.

When I spoke on House Concurrent Resolution 63 opposing the President's surge, I mentioned CPT Lisa Blackman, a clinical psychologist, who cared for soldiers who suffered devastating emotional and mental harm inflicted while serving in Iraq and chronicled their troubling and heart-breaking torment in the book, Operation Homecoming.

These brave troops, who suffered severe physical as well as mental injuries, shamefully did not receive proper treatment after faithfully serving their country. H.R. 1538 properly recognizes the sacrifices our troops have made and provides the long overdue care and medical services our troops should properly expect and deserve from their government.

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