Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2015) – Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) today unveiled its 2015 policy priorities during testimony before the Committees on Veterans Affairs for the Senate and the House of Representatives. WWP developed its policy priorities in recognition of the challenges our nation’s veterans, their caregivers, and their families face today, and in anticipation of their extended needs for the future.
In testimony during a joint hearing before both committees, Ryan Kules, national alumni director at WWP and a wounded service member himself, applauded bipartisan efforts over the past year that have resulted in the passage of critical legislation, including the Veterans Access to Care Act and the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act. Kules was thankful to the committee members for their dedication to wounded, ill, or injured veterans, their caregivers, and their families, and emphasized that many warriors are still struggling, and at risk of continued problems in the years ahead.
“It is increasingly clear that the least visible wounds among warriors of this generation – including traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder – have the most devastating long-term impact. WWP has pledged to support this country’s injured warriors for a lifetime, and we ask that you join us in this commitment,” testified Kules.
Kules outlined WWP’s four policy priorities for 2015 and beyond, comprising mental health, economic empowerment, long-term rehabilitation and caregivers, and TRICARE for injured service members:
Long-term TBI Rehabilitation and Caregivers
TRICARE for Wounded, Ill or Injured Service Members
WWP’s policy priorities were developed with the results of its 2014 Annual Alumni Survey in mind; responses from more than 21,000 injured veterans of this generation documented some of the challenges they face:
“Wounded Warrior Project envisions a future in which the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history not only survives, but also thrives,” said Kules. “This vision requires sustained public support, and relevant programs and services for veterans and their caregivers. Helping wounded warriors requires a lifetime of commitment, and we are committed to serving this population for their lifetimes, and to working with Congress and the Administration to realize this vision.”
WWP is on Capitol Hill today for Brain Injury Awareness Day to encourage lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and the public to consider the questions that warriors with TBIs, their caregivers, and their families face every day. WWP joins the bipartisan Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, composed of more than 80 members, to further education and awareness of brain injury—including its incidence, prevalence, prevention, and treatment. The needs of veterans living with cognitive and physical challenges due to a brain injury reach far beyond what VA programs can address. Injured veterans, caregivers, and families need to know that long-term health problems have long-term solutions.
The full testimony can be found at http://www.veterans.senate.gov/.
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.