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Hope for Wounded Veteran Families Wishing to Start a Family

Senate Approves Bill That Includes Reproductive Assistance Funding

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Senate approved a bill Thursday that could help wounded veterans and their spouses start a family. Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) applauds the vote by the Senate but knows there is much more work to do.

Matt and Tracy Keil needed community support, help from friends and family, and credit cards to finance their in vitro fertilization and start a family. They are now helping efforts to get the VA to fund IVF for other wounded veterans.

Too many veterans have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan having lost their chance to start a family naturally. For many of these individuals, the only option for having children is through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Although the Department of Defense currently covers IVF and other reproductive assistance for active duty military, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) believes it is barred from providing these services because of an outdated law. This leaves many injured veterans and their families without the ability to have children and begin building a normal life.

WWP has strongly advocated on behalf of these wounded veterans and their families, leading a group of 14 veterans service organizations who have called for legislation funding the VA to provide In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Earlier this month WWP brought three families to Capitol Hill to share their stories and struggles. One of the families, Matt and Tracy Keil, went into debt to start their family. They used loans, community support, and credit cards to pay for IVF. Tracy and Matt want to ensure other families don't have to go through what they did.

"Senator Patty Murray and her colleagues have been champions of the IVF bill," Matt said. "Now, with full support from Congress, combat wounded veterans will have a chance at starting a family! This has always been a missing piece of the veteran's rehabilitation. And will ultimately make them whole again! The best legacy a man and woman will ever have is their children."

WWP wants to thank the Keil family and all families that have shared their story to help other veteran families.

Now, the amendment needs to be merged into the House bill to reach full approval before it goes to President Barack Obama's desk for his signature.

To learn more about WWP's advocacy efforts, please visit https://goo.gl/6yL41s.

About Wounded Warrior Project
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 https://goo.gl/QYbvpg.

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160524/371406

 

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project

For further information: Rob Louis - Public Relations Specialist, rlouis@woundedwarriorproject.org, 904.627.0432