U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), recently received the Senate Legislative Champion Award by the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) for his dedicated efforts to include tinnitus research and funding to the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012 (FY12). Ultimately, an amendment that would have addressed hearing injuries and hearing loss of service members failed, but will be resubmitted to this annual legislation for FY13.
"Our men and women in uniform deserve the best treatment for their selfless sacrifice," said Inhofe. "With over 214,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans diagnosed with tinnitus, we must ensure they receive the proper resources to treat this debilitating condition. Last year, during the FY12 NDAA markup, I was dissatisfied with the failure of an amendment that would further assist our nation's veterans. As the second ranking member of the SASC, I look forward to once again supporting a similar measure in FY13 that will address and treat this condition found in many of our nation's veterans."
ATA Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Born said, "ATA is so appreciative of Senator Inhofe's demonstrated leadership in the fight to silence tinnitus. With the staggering increases in service-connected disability for tinnitus in veterans, and with tinnitus being the number one service-connected disability for veterans, tinnitus is a condition that needs the support and attention of Congress now, more than ever. Senator Inhofe was a much deserving candidate for this award and we were so pleased to be able to honor him with our 2011 Senate Legislative Champion award."