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Traumatic Brain Injury Rehab Bill Offers Warriors New Hope

Wounded Warrior Project Applaud Sponsors, Urges Speedy Legislative Action

Jacksonville, FL (May 12, 2011) - Wounded Warrior Project applauds Senator John Boozman (R-AR) with lead co-sponsor, Mark Begich (D-AK) and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN/1) with lead co-sponsor Gus Bilirakis (RFL/9) for introducing companion legislation in the House and Senate today that would ensure fuller lives for warriors who sustained severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in Iraq and Afghanistan, and urges speedy action on this measure.     

The Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvement Act of 2011 would require VA to provide veterans who have severe TBI with ongoing, long-term rehabilitative care, including support services to maximize independence and quality of life.  

“This important bipartisan, bi-cameral legislation would close critical gaps in VA rehabilitation programs for warriors who have suffered severe traumatic brain injury,” said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director, Wounded Warrior Project.  “These complex injuries often require long-term rehabilitative care.  The legislation would help ensure that needed rehabilitation is not prematurely cut off, and that these veterans can get the supports they need – whether those are health-services or non-medical assistance -- to achieve maximum independence and quality of life.”  

Traumatic brain injury represents one of the most complex and potentially severe injuries incurred by service members deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.   While symptoms from a mild or moderate TBI are more likely to dissipate, severe TBI can result in lasting and persistent neurological and cognitive deficits.   

“We salute Senators Boozman and Begich, as well as Congressmen Walz and Bilirakis, for legislation that so powerfully addresses the often agonizing experience of wounded warriors who have been denied important community-reintegration supports and who have experienced premature termination of rehabilitation services,” said Nardizzi.  “This legislation offers new hope to these warriors and their families.”  

“Passage of this measure would provide these warriors with low-tech, low-cost services like supported employment and life-skills coaching that can open up new avenues to greater independence,” Nardizzi explained.  “It’s not enough to provide these warriors medical care; we have to recognize and support their search for the fullest possible lives in their communities.”   

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of the 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, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

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