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Week of 1.22.10

Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?

America's new wounded warriors—Why are their family caregivers overworked and under-supported?

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The Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five American soldiers are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries, many of which require round-the-clock attention.

The Weekly Q
But lost in the reports of these returning soldiers are the stories of family members who often sacrifice everything to care for them.

This week, NOW reveals how little has been done to help these family caregivers, and reports on dedicated efforts to support them.

Related Links

Associated Press: Senate passes benefits for vets' caregivers

Brainline.org: Site for people preventing, treating and living with traumatic brain injury.

Caringbridge.org: Ivonne Thompson's blog, a journal chronicling the progress her husband, Anthony Thompson.

Govtrack.us: Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009

NOW: Resources for Soldiers and Vets

Volunteering for Vets

Disabled Veterans of America

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

Wounded Warrior Project

NOW Shows on Military and Veteran Issues

Web Features

Resources for Soldiers, Vets, and Families
Get helpful health and legal information for active-duty soldiers, war veterans, and their families on traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and substance abuse

Viewer Comments

Commenter: Joani Miller
We as a Nation can Never Do Enough for Our Veterans!!
What is taking place in our country to our men and women both current and past should never be happening!! How can we allow this to continue!!


Commenter: Lou Gardiner
I have just watched the program on Eric, Steve and AJ. Absolutely uplifing and moving to see these soldiers with the wonderfully supportive families. Eric's father's actions shows what being totally committed to family means. I have just finished as the Chief of Army in New Zealand. We have been lucky not to have experienced any bad casualties in recent times. However, when farewelling soldiers I have observed the fears in the faces of parents, partners, brothers and sisters. Despite this they are totally supportive of their loved one's career choice and are proud that they are serving their country. I have seen also the relief when the soldiers have come home. But with Eric, Steve and AJ their loved ones are really called to show their total, loving support in very difficult circumstances. I think all soldiers would hope their loved ones would show this level of commitment if it was needed. I would like to think I would do what Eric's dad has done. It's totally committed love looking for nothing in return. An inspirational documentary. Well done.


Commenter: Mikki B, Minneapolis MN
Eric Edmondson is my step-cousin. I heard of his injury after it happened and have followed it on and off for the past 5 years. It was amazing to see him walk, it brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for him and his family for the progress he has had since his injury. I believe he would not be where he is today without his families' love, persistence and all that they do for him. It was great to see his progress and I look forward to seeing more progress. Our country definitely needs to support our troops after they return home, they selfishly went to defend our country, the least we can do is help them to live a better life when they return no matter what it takes.


Commenter: Jerry Clark, Kansas City
Don't wait on the Govt. to solve this problem. If half of what I read in the blogs is true, relief will be a day late and a dollar short. I suggest we continue to press the Govt. for help while at the same time we get out our own check books and adopt some families. Research the annual gift exclusion... there is a lot of room for us to give.


Commenter: Simon Alvarado
Less we forget the rest of the over 20 millions veterans from previous wars who have been abandoned by the VA. The budget for 2011 is 125 billions dollars to which most goes to other than providing care for disabled veterans. They estimate that of the 125 billions about half will go to compensation for veterans, however in 2009 the estimated cost for compensation for 2.6 millions veterans was S23.4 billions dollars. There are about 1 million dependents receiving some form of assistance. VA facilities across the nation tell the veterans that because of budget issue they cannot receive care on a timely basis. So, where does the money go? About 60% goes to administrative, etc., which would probably include bonuses for a job poorly done, or credit care-purchasing abuse by employees, or expensive retreats on how to improve the care of veterans. If they were so concerned why are they spending money, which could go toward medical care and other services? The reason is because of poor leadership at the top of the food chain, the secretary who has failed to keep his promise of making the VA more accountable and transparent. Instead he shuts his eyes, turns the other way and allows thousands of veterans to die everyday at VA facilities or by poor medical care and follow-up. This is no secret, just read the newspaper or watch the television. Maybe it is time for someone new at the top of the VA department, someone who is accessible to all veterans and not just those who do very little for all veterans. Corporate VA management must end, today. Help restore the dignity of all veterans and not just those returning from overseas. The commitment to past veterans is not complete by any mean. We must hold them accountable for all the veterans.


Commenter: Durham Rapid City SD
Yes, Congress must fund this assistance. Regardless of how our opinions differ on the wisdom and value of the wars in the Middle East, the wounded vets and their families deserve better than to be saddled with the extreme burdens of carrying for the seriously injured. Considering the capacity of our government to care for unethical capitalists who almost (and maybe will) crash the US and the World's economies, there must be sufficient compassion to help our military vets and families. Regrettably, the two major parties are so corrupt that the need for this aid has be highlighted.


Commenter: m barbao
Feel strongly that fed. gov't SHOULD pay the $10 stipend for Family Caregivers for many, many, many reasons -- one being that in the long run it would be a MONEY-SAVING proposition for our gov't. It makes sense! Help our wounded vets AND the community.


Commenter: SpcJon's Mom
This is a pathetic story,families are led to believe that the Army takes care of their own. WHY did that poor family have to take their soldier son out of the VA to get him private care, if the soldiers that are signing up to join & serve their country saw this video I am pretty sure 95% would change their mind about joining. The only good thing I caught watching this, was private care was paid for. the way this country is treating their young wounded military is a damn shame. Families are being lied to, and its a damn shame


Commenter: Joseph L. Goldman
This program kept me in tears almost the entire time. TBI is sufficient reason to stop our participation in any war activity where the locals do not appreciate the activity of our troops.
We must stop military activity in countries that want us to leave.


Commenter: David S. Miller
Doesn't everyone deserve peace?

Those only deserve it who don't disturb it.


Commenter: David Bennett
IT'S SIMPLE! Congress must pass a law that puts 1% of the Defence Budget into a CARE FUND for Injured Veterans - that would be $6 billion in 2010 - and negotiates affordable costs for vets to get therapy with local providers. This would be $60,000 each for 100,000 vets. IT IS DISGUSTING that this is even debated other than to establish how to ensure the money is effectively used and NOT WASTED or reduced by corruption. Congress, DO YOUR JOB! and represent the people!


Commenter: LennyG
It is beyond imagination - to send volunteers out into harms way - on our behalf - and not fully care for them when they are wounded. And good care in these cases definitely includes compensating the caregiver.
These guys gave their livelihood to protect our way of life. We owe them the best possible care - no matter how costly - for as long as they need it - period.


Commenter: Janice DenHerder
We as Americans try to assist everyone it seems..and our Veterans and their families should have the same treatment, and the same care and assistance we can possible give to them.

Yes the family care givers should be reimbursed for the loving care they give our Veterans. The Veteran will do much better in a loving home environment with their family and friends surrounding them.


Commenter: Nancy Cole
What does it cost to put these young people in 24/7 care compared to them being home and living a better life? This is new age of veterans who are volunteers and should be honored for their service. Give the family members a ray of hope, and stop bickering about it and spending money where others are selfish (bailouts). God bless these families and troops, protect and give finances so they can live a decent life!


Commenter: John Boville
For those willing to risk their lives/health on behalf of their country & counrty men it would be obscene to deny these brave veterans and their families all of the support they require to care for their loved ones.

Ontario, Canada


Commenter: Pat Huseby
Your program today on TBI soldiers revealed the horrible truth that family care is much better for the soldier than hospital care, if and when available. Rehabilitation is far better at home than in a hospital where many soldiers lay unattended with no hope. This was brought to my attention in the last three years by a close friend whose husband who is not a veteran was in a motor vehicle accident and suffers a TBI to this day. Doctors kept him in a drug induced coma and advised her that he would not recover. She brought him home, weaned him off of the powerful medications, and is caring for him 24/7 with little help. It is very costly for her, physically, mentally, and financially. But her husband, although bedridden, has many days of clarity and can converse at times, remarkably with the same sense of humor he displayed before the accident. Family is everything to the wounded soldier, or non-soldier, but there should be compensation for the family who chooses to provide the needed care at home.


Commenter: Gladys Cruz
Now more then ever united we shall stand. Thank you for unselfishly giving your all so that my family, friends, and I can be free. I also thank these strong women who are standing by their man, and to their parents who have also sacrifice so much for their children. great documentary! At what ever the cost we must step up to the plate for our hero soldiers. God bless you all.


Commenter: William Laney
The entire family quit their jobs and are living off this guy's V.A.'s disability... do them a favor and say NO. There is not enough money to compensate all these people. Their son was a volunteer... he rolled the dice and lost and there is not enough money on the planet to make him whole again. Occupying another country has inherent risks and Bush Cheney and the Neocons sleep well at night. These folks need to move on.


Commenter: Larry Stover
I have a question; How do I find out what congress members are "NOT" supporting our wounded vets? I would like to spread the word on these people who seem to have forgotten what our vets have done for us.
You can reach me at stoverl@rocketmail.com
The power of truth should be told


Commenter: Barry James
I was 18 yrs. old when they sent me and others to Vietnam to fight a war we didn't even understand. We never questioned that, we did our duty to the best of our ability and came home to a VA system that didn't know how to treat our PTSD or what it was for that matter. We were doused with Agent Orange and our goverment denied it until so many had died or had killed themselves they were forced to act. This is exactly how the goverment and the VA are acting now about the difficult injuries our brave soldiers are getting doing their duty. I cry every time I see how badly our leaders, like Senator Coburn treat these brave soldiers and make excuses about why we can't afford the expense. I'm still fighting the VA over what happened to me in Vietnam and I don't have much hope for our veterans now. I love everyone of our veterans and they should get the best without regard for money. After all, we had enough to get them injured!!!!!!!!! God Bless opur veterans


Commenter: MILDRED LUDWIG
I AM A CAREGIVER OF STROKE AND DEMENTIA SISTER. IT IS NOT AN EASY TASK. YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN SENT TO WAR SHOULD NOT BE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FAMILIES TO CARE FOR THE SEVERE OR NOT SO SEVERED INJURED. THEY VOLUNTEERED TO DEFEND OUT WONDERFUL COUNTRY. CONGRESS SHOULD BE ASHAMED FOR DRAGGING ITS FEET ON CARING OUR OWN. WE SPEND BILLIONS FOR SO MANY AND MUCH MORE ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD EXCEPT ON OUR OWN COUNTRY MEN. REMEMBER CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME FIRST. WE ARE A POWERFUL NATION BECAUSE OF ITS CITIZENS AND ITS YANKEE KNOW HOW. ALL MILITARY FAMILIES AND THE EXTENDED FAMILIES WHO CARE FOR THESE YOUNG PEOPLE.


Commenter: Pamela Schnasa
I am truly outraged and ashamed of the way this country has taken care of it soldiers and veterans.. What is it gonna take for our president to see how this country treats these brave men and women? He needs to stop worrying about BIG FAT CAT BANKERS and start taking care of these soldiers and families who put there lives on the line for this country!! I don't my children to join the military in fear of the lack of appreciation and care they and there families will get.


Commenter: LHT
Veteran Heroes, those citizens who have answered the call to duty, are our best and finest. Are our hospitals sending brain damaged veterans home because their families wont pull the plug? Are these hospitals sending veterans home because it just costs too much to offer them the care they need to get well? When caregivers must take over the hospital's duties these veterns deserve, they need help to maintain their homes and well being. It is just that simple.


Commenter: Cheryl
If we can raise billions of dollars in one week for Haiti -- where has this money been for our own?


Commenter: April Carney
I think if these men and women can sacrifice their life and their well-being for my freedom and country they should be able to get the best care avaiable. They deserve it! Family should not have to take on the burden of caregiver unless warranted. And if they do take on the role of caregiver they should be compensated for every moment of taking care of a war hero. I can't believe the government, the system recruiting these men and women to fight, will not step up and do the RIGHT thing and that is do unto others as you would do to yourself.


Commenter: Jack M- Austin, TX
Your piece on the wounded vets should be a wake up call to all citizens and government leaders in the US. On a daily basis men and woman, sons and daughters of the military sacrifice their lives, limbs, brains, and families for our country. The typical American parent struggles to stay home from work for one day to take care of a sick child and as we saw in your show the family of the wounded have to stay home every day to care for their loved ones.

As a country and a government I say shame on us as we sit idly by while our protectors and their families suffer in silence. These families inherit the emotional baggage with these wounds but they should not be left holding the financial bag for these war wounds.

I have personally cared for loved ones that have suffered from strokes, ALS, and epilepsy. As a caregiver it is the most physically and emotionally demanding job anyone could undertake. My loved ones were born with these defects and life activated them so as a family we accepted these challenges and dealt with them as best we could. The loved ones shown in your show today will need help and support for a very long time to insure that they do not have emotional and physical breakdowns themselves. The last thing they need is a financial breakdown.

To the staff at NOW and to all at PBS thank you for showing us the fallout of war and why we cannot take our freedoms for granted. It is time for all of us that benefit from these freedoms to give back to the ones who have suffered the most. To the soldiers and their families- my heartfelt appreciation for your sacrifice and unselfish contributions to our country. God Bless you all.


Commenter: Judith Petty
It is unconscienable to send young people into war, have them survive horrific injuries that only years ago would have killed them and send them home for their families to give up their own lives in order to see to the needs of their loved ones. I support legislation that would mitigate the burden on families of wounded soldiers.


Commenter: maria mursch
I think its disgusting veteran family's
have no financial help caring for our
wounded young men -its more disgusting to
see or pres,on vacation in Hawaii while
our men and their family's are suffering
and struggle to make through a day.he has no
problem bailing out corrupt bankers !!!!!


Commenter: Mike
The VA should be charged with the responsibility providing health care for all veterans and their families. And to make sure that it is done right, Congress Persons should be provided health care only at VA facilities. After all, why should our representatives expect better care than our veterans? Dr. Colburn should be ashamed of his holding out on veteran care issues.


Commenter: Fatbstrd
They shouldnt even be their fighting the corporate war. What happend to the peace candidate O-bomya?


Commenter: ISAAC.AWUNTEENGA
Family members should be paid for taking care of wounded veterans.


Commenter: Anita Bagnall
RE: Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?

Excellent program. Thank you so very much for bringing this to America's attention.


Commenter: nubill2day@yahoo.com
I beleive a lot of the idea and expressions of that Female General. Most of what She expressed was believed and acted upon during WW2. I remember as I was around in those times. We must NOT Forget the ideas and actions WE learned then.OK children? Smile! An don't take any wooden nickles unless U can get them by the Roll.


Commenter: DAVE PHILLIPS in Parowan, UT
DAVID et al = THANK YOU, once more, for highlighting this important and most timely issue, to get "our message" to a larger public - AS WELL AS the policy makers inside the Washington DC Beltway!


Commenter: rod baker
Wounded in vietnam limping all thes time now I cant work due to artheritus foot khee back...Been fighting VA over 20 years .been thrown out of VA in past for losing temper due to there indiference to me.Some Drs. are great but half dont give a darn Indy VA Is a crime...Some Drs should not be there..The army makes a deal with us and VA breaks it..They bury you in paper word and then lose the paper work you need.How convente for them..The VA is a joke..


Commenter: Jerry Halll
As a country we knock on the door and tell the citizen they need to serve. At that time,as a country and government,our number one responsibility is to support that citizen. Why do we forget that? We are"of the people, by the people and for the people". We are not democrats and republicans. WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. We have created a mess in DC. Our government is a joke. Our congress and senate are laughable. Anyone that votes for an incumbent in the next few elections should not be allowed to vote again.


Commenter: ZULEYMA
I AM SAD TO SEE HOW OUR HEROES,ARE BEING TREATED SHAME ON OUR PRESIDENT "OBAMA". OUR HEROES DESERVE EVERY BIT OF HELP THAT OUR COUNTRY CAN GIVE THEM!!!GOD BLESS OUR HEROES AND FAMILIES
ALSO I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT WE AS CITIZENS CAN DO TO HELP.


Commenter: Arlene
I just lost my 82 year old husband who served in WWII and it angers me that we are not already caring for these wounded vets. My husband supported all our troops to his last day and he would say President Obama, have a heart and sign this bill to get help for these families. We send millions to other counties. Take care of our own country first please. Be a true American. These men served, now return that blessing to their families who are now forced to serve as well. Do at least this one thing to honor your country while you are in the White House. Thank you.


Commenter: Lazetar
These families need to team-up and get some kind of group home going. Work out a fair schedule amoung themselves. This way they can get out and have a career, go to school, just get out for awhile or whatever. Taking turn watching each others spouses. Then when needed they can team-up lifting or moving them. Also for moral support from each other. They may even be able to borrow each others extended families for simple tasks (errands and such). A couple of nurses can come see many patients at one time instead of having to drive to many individual homes miles apart. The alternative of living alone with the souse and having to do everything alone is unimagineable. It may not be for everyone, but it's worth a try. Just need to get organized and sign a few up to see if can work. Two to four can live cheaper together than one alone.


Commenter: Carolyn Cox
We should pass all legislation concerning the care of physically and mentally wounded soldiers returning home AT THE VERY LEAST! These brave Americans have guarded our lives with their own. We give better care to prisoners of war crimes than we do to our own brother and sister American soldiers. We are so careful regarding their (prisoners of war crimes) rights, and do such a sub standard jobs for our heroes. Can we draft Lorna, send her over there and put her through what our troops go through? I never meet a soldier or veteran that I dont thank them. Please let me know what I can do in my Community in Middle Tennessee to help. Anything! We should all proudly stand for those who stood for us. God Bless Them and their families!


Commenter: katia peltz
my heart goes out for these wounded soldiers and their love one,especially the wives and parents that take care of them,we should all give them support and compassion .


Commenter: linda
heart wrenching and blood boiling.... our vets should be getting the best of care we should not be in afganistan i think it's another war about oil and placement of the U S interests our children should not be put in harms way for big bucks and then to have them come home damaged and be left hangin it's appalling these women and families are facing daunting challenges YES they need to be compensated financialy chump change compared to the bonuses being paid out to the wall street financiers in one year angry and frustrated ... yes i am sam


Commenter: Vickie
Bankers move numbers around, they make billions of dollars, get bailouts!!!
Our soldiers that risk their lives for us get what?
What is happening in this country???


Commenter: Barbara
The show aired today on brain damage Vets- I wonder if the families are aware of home care agencies who can assist in caring for their loved ones. I care for a spinal cord injured vet and there are 2-3 home care agencies in which the VA pays for. I care for him Mon- Fri 8-4. it gives the spouse a break or can go to work. The parents and siblings also help with care and also 3 small children but it is draining for them.
There should be more care and I agree the primary caregiver should be paid,receive health benefits such as medicare pays the caregiver.


Commenter: michael anderson
The repugnant change of values of our politicians from the value of human life and its quality over monies spent has been both life demeaning and materialistic idolization to the detriment of this country. My primary example is the bail out of the banks and the auto industry to the tune of billions of dollars and no REAL complaints from our politicians on the other hand there is this heated debate on whether their should be compensation to both the soldier who gave all to defend this country and their families who now care for them. This is a shame to the country that is supposed to be so kind to all.


Commenter: Jay Lee
If we are to send some of our neighbors off to do service for our country, it is only right to give compensation to the care of seriously wounded veterans. Cost shouldn't even be a question, it's part of the cost of going into harms way. Also, it is known that when a country goes to war, disability benefits continue for several decades after the war ends.
Thank you for showing "Who's Helping Our Wounded Vets?"


Commenter: Sue Armand
Yes, the veterans did their duty. Now this nation owes to these brave ones all the support required to give their bodies and minds as much rehabilitation and human caring as possible.


Commenter: Glennie
Our treatment of wounded veterans is quite possibly the most heinous and inexcusable atrocity brought about by the Bush administration. No human being with a molecule of conscience would not provide AT ANY COST every possible need for the care and treatment of soldiers, their families (immediate and extended), caregivers and all others affected by this situation which is ongoing as long as we have troops serving anywhere on the planet. To Mr. Coburn in particular--how DARE you as a doctor continue to stand in the way of any legislation involving needed healthcare of any kind for anyone. Your affiliation with the "Christian" group, The Family, merely adds to the disgusting hypocrisy of the oath you took to Do No Harm. You have been complicit in the deaths of thousands of people by depriving them of their basic human needs while you have parked yourself in Washington using your seemingly endless energy to impede rather than proceed. You are not alone in this, but as you delight in drawing attention to your self-righteous behavior, you're getting it!
Would that I had enough money to bypass bureaucracy and get help to those who need it and are already paying for it with their taxes and their lives.
--Proud but frustrated to be an American.


Commenter: Patricia
Our country spends billions of dollars helping other nations and peoples. Our country willingly sends our sons and daughters in harms way but refuses to adequately care for or reimburse those who become injured fighting for our country. How shameful is that policy which spends billions on other countries but cannot spend billions on our injured soldiers and their families in need?!?

I personally am infuriated and embarrassed our country treats these people this way.


Commenter: joanne okeefe
These are our wounded warriors who are disabled veterans..........

MY TEARS FLOWED WATCHING YOUR PROGRAM, PLEASE RUN IT OFTEN IN ORDER TO BRING AWARENESS AND SUPPORT.


The USA should provide for the CAREGIVERS AND PROVIDE RESPITE CARE FOR THE FAMILIES

WE MUST DO ALL WE CAN AND THE MOST WE GIVE WILL NOT MAKE UP FOR THEIR SACRIFICE AND COURAGE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PROGRAM

SINCERELY

JO


Commenter: Dr Ben Stancati
Incredibly moving.


Commenter: Barbara Ward
I have a comment and a question about the program regarding the soldiers with tramatic head injuries and the consequences of their injuries to their families and their loved ones. I thought the piece was very compelling and it demonstrated just how unprepared the veterans' hospitals were to deal with these injuries. I was, however, puzzled by your statement that President Obama does not support compensation for these victims and their families. You didn't say why. How can you make a statement like that and then not explain the reason for his decision. You left out a very important piece of the story.


Commenter: christopher a. shatley (aka crisco)
we send our dads,moms,brothers,sister,children,ect to fight not for others but for our country they leave there family behind there live behind to serve our country against foriegn and civil enemies.we run at the drop of a hat to aid and defend other,that we forget about the ones we sent!they come home to a goverment that takes there sevice for granted.instead of filling the bankers pockets lets fill the soilders pockets,look at haiti,how many soilders have lost their lives and families are struggling to just survive in our time of trouble!WAKE UP AMERICA WE ARE BECOMEING A DYING BREAD!GOD BLESS!


Commenter: Terry
maybe if we actually supported our wounded vets and their families financially to the extent they deserve, the government would be motivated to find ways of keeping them healthy, ie, be less willing to wage and less able to afford the very wars that cause their injuries.


Commenter: charlene
The Goverment can give Banks a ton of money so the theives can get a ton but to hell with our families taking care of their loved ones who became crippled so those bank executives canget their millions in a bonus.


Commenter: Elizabeth Hill
I think it's sad to think that all it would take is one bank executive turning over his year end bonus to pay for the stipend program in the un-passed bill before Congress.


Commenter: Mary Tallouzi (mother of SSgt Daniel Tallouzi, deceased)
Thank you gentlemen for your sacrifice and service to our country. Thank you caregivers for the love and strength and belief you each have for your loved ones. Where our government and systems falter, we must step up to the plate, each and every one of us to serve those who need us the most, our Warriors! If you are an American, step up!


Commenter: Richard Ure
George Bush kept saying: "Why do they hate us?" When a nation treats its own (be they returned soldiers, struggling students, the sick, or mortgagors) with the callous indifference the powerful in the State do, the rest of the world asks "Why would we expect better treatment?"

Ponder this question, US citizens. It looks like time for another Revolution.


Commenter: A disabled Viet Nam vet
This country should be ashambed of its self for treating these heroes this way. As a Viet Nam vet I understand recieving a slap in the face, but this is above and beyond what happened to us. Those famalies should be supported to the max with whatever is needed to care for thier wounded heroes. They should get in home help as well as be paid for thier efforts. Anyone who has been a primary care giver will understand and agree completly. This will be a very hard job for the caregivers but thier love will make them do it. I walked in thier shoes for 7 years and two days. As hard as it was, I would not do anything different looking back now. When I layed my late wife to rest in Arlington National Cemetary I walked away knowing I had done everthing earthly possible for her that I could have. GOD BLESS THESE FAMILIES I am thankful there are rehab places, but the bottom line is these heroes need to be in a family setting long term for the best care. As a nation we ship our children off to daycare & our eldery off to nursing homes. These people deserve better than this. They put thier lives on the line for us. A NATION CAN BE JUDGED BY HOE IT TREATS IT'S VETS


Commenter: Curtis W. Fields
It's nice to know that there is a TV station that will take time to care for the veteran's causes, wish I would have had that treatment when I came back from Vietnam with a bad case of PTSD and didnt know what I had. Thanks again Curtis Fields


Commenter: Paul G.
The bill for the care of our wounded vets should be given to George Bush and his family and every one of the Congress that voted to go to war against Iraq. That was the stupidest thing a President and his group ever did. The war in Iraq has made fortunes for those in the know. Senator DiFi is a good example. Her husband has a military contract for $850Million. That's just great. And we the taxpayer get to pay, and the country is broke and in bad shape. Thanks a bunch.
I love our troops and yes, they and their families need all the help we can possibly give them. They are the ones who took the brunt of battle and some up to 3 combat tours.
By the way, I'm ex-Marine, 2 combat tours of RVN.


Commenter: michael framson
I don't care where the money comes from, take it from the bank bailouts, take it from the Wall Street bonuses, tell the fed to print more money, but get the vets, their families, the care this country owes them, and the care they deserve, the care that is morally and ethically demanded.

This is just one more reason to outraged by this government shirking its responsibility.


Commenter: Jim Davis, Veterans-For-Change
I'm glad to see that Senator Coburn actually released the bill and voted in support of this much needed legislation!

We absolutely MUST CARE FOR OUR OWN! Regardless of cost!


Commenter: Heidi Knight
Thank you so much for doing this documentry on the disabled vets. I worked in Tampa Fl as an EMT and had the pleasure of meeting and transporting both Scot Noss and Anthany Thompson. i have since moced back home to Ma and haven't been able to witness there progress. I have been touched by both these families as now I hope by your show the rest of the world can be. thank you so much for making it known to the world that these families need more help and support.


Commenter: Dawn
I am thankful that so many young men and women are voluntarily serving our country. I was very moved by this episode. Yet, I can't help but feel that if I was in the position of being one of the severely wounded warriors, I wouldn't want to continue to live. I admire the families who give up everything to become caregivers, but there is no way I could expect my family to give up everything to care for me. These families are eventually going to become a burden on our already limited resources because they will need to take advantage of available social services.

I don't know if anything like this exists, but maybe, there could be a code on the dog tags similar to an advanced directive and DNR order so that the wounded's wishes be known that they don't want any extrordinary measures be taken if they are seriously wounded.


Commenter: BR
Thank you for your consistantly excellent program. This one was moving and powerful. Our nation has the moral obligation to provide for the physically as well as emotionally wounded veterans who were placed in harm's way through the decisions of our leaders. These heroic families need and deserve all the help we can provide them.
Maybe we could cancel one "pork barrel" high-tech defense system and channel the millions into veteran and veteran family care.


Commenter: Mary Anne Peters
What a beautiful tribute to two wonderful families. May God Bless all of you and keep you safe.


Commenter: A Friend
Please visit www.biaf.org
Brain Injury Association of Florida for free support for families in the State of Florida.


Commenter: Elenor - a grateful citizen
Lorna E Smith
Many of these vets, like many premature babies, and some old people, should have been allowed to die, rather than face life as a burden and vegetable. Quality of life matters!!! When will we get the message?
--------------------------------------------------

This was a very insensitive and offensive comment to make. There is a time and place for everything...this was not the venue to get on a soapbox about end of life issues. These men are not "vegetables" they are brave and honorable Service Members/Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.

Just because you have the right and ability to make such a statement (a right, by the way, which these fine young men joined the military to help PROTECT) doesn't mean you should do so. It was obvious in the video that these family members understand and value the quality of life of their loved ones - the overwhelming love, devotion, and support was humbling to view. Thank you to Scott, Eric and Anthony for your service and your sacrifice!


Commenter: Jules
What is it that we (us citizens) do to help this bill through?? Anything??

And I have to comment on a comment by Lorna E Smith. I wish not to stoop to your level but I assure you it is quite difficult to refrain. I can only pray that you will never be faced with such a traumatic experience with one of your loved ones. It saddens me that you would think the worst and not give them a chance. They are human beings for God's sake! Human beings that FIGHT ON YOUR BEHALF. Have some respect.

God bless our soldiers and their families. Keep the faith!!


Commenter: Wounded Warrior Mom
My son is one of the wounded warriors with a TBI suffered in a helicopter crash and was a patient in Tampa with those featured in this story. His prognosis was dire at first, but his recovery has been a miracle due to the care and attention of the staff at the Haley VA. It is inconceivable for me to read comments by people like Lorna Smith who would opt for letting their sons, husbands, brothers or sisters die when the outcome of their injury is completely unknown. We were told our son would require constant care and not be functional and as I write this he is attending a college course. He will always have disabilities and uses a wheelchair, but he is a capable part of society. We had no idea that this is what the outcome would be and we are grateful, but we would have been there for him even if this had not been the case. I only hope that if you are ever in a position where it is up to someone to decide to just let you die when the outcome is not clear, that they are not of the same mindset you are.


Commenter: Mrs. Ski
In response to Lorna E Smith:
(QUOTE: Many of these vets, like many premature babies, and some old people, should have been allowed to die, rather than face life as a burden and vegetable. Quality of life matters!!! When will we get the message?)

Clearly your brain isn't working either. When will you die?

To the families: You have touched my life in ways you'll never know. God bless you all.


Commenter: Ms. Hadley Littell
It should also be noted that within USA, 1.4 - 1.5 million Americans each year get traumatic brain injury. 50% due to motor vehicle accidents.

Funding for rehab is a big question......
and also the resources to do rehab.......


Commenter: Ivonne
Lorna E Smith
Many of these vets, like many premature babies, and some old people, should have been allowed to die, rather than face life as a burden and vegetable. Quality of life matters!!! When will we get the message?

To Lorna:
I have sat here and tried to think of a way to respond to your post. Truth is: how dare you? It was never a question on whether or not my husband would live or die. For him it never came to that point; he was always alive and fighting for his life. Is this the way he would have wanted to live his life? No. But fact of the matter is that these are the cards we were dealt. How is my husband a burden to you or anyone else? Had I put him in a facility, then I could see that argument. I have sacrified my career to care for my husband who was wounded fighting for your freedom and keep my family together. On top of which, my husband is NOT a vegetable! You are an ungrateful person and I hope to GOD above that you are never put in my situation because I would feel so sorry for your loved one!

Sincerely, Ivonne Thompson


Commenter: Ricardo Meneses Pilonieta
Muchas gracias


Commenter: Mom of head injured daughter
I applaud the men and women who protect our country. And I find it sad that there are no better solutions in place to handle those coming home injured in such a way. But why just the veterans? There are no real solutions for those with TBI on the home front. I have a head injured daughter that I would love to care for. But I am a single mom and need to work. The nursing facility where my young daughter lived was being paid almost $6,000 per month. I asked them if they would pay me what constituted room and board so I could bring her home and care for her myself. I was told by our "system" that they could not allow that because they could not regulate me. So my daughter was moved from nursing home to nursing home due to abuse and neglect. I do not understand the whole thought process and feel there should be a better way to handle this. It seems to not be an issue until it happens to them personally.


Commenter: Jane poindexter
We must as a country step up and take the responsibily for those who have been injured in anyway. There families also need lots of help.


Commenter: Lynelle Stuckey
Thank you for your information on the difficulties injured veterans and their families are facing. It addressed aspects that I was totally unaware of.


Commenter: maxine bechtel
Thanks for bringing that heart-rending story to my attention! We will pray that President Obama will sign the bill! there are many wasteful "Pork" projects that are being subsidized with our tax dollars that could be eliminated and those funds could be channeled to this very worthy project! Our grandson was wounded at the same time Eric Edmundson, but he is able to function and go about his duties as an Army Major foer which we thank our Merciful God1


Commenter: A Gold Star Mom
The President should sign this Bill without question. If we cannot afford to take care of our troops and their families when they return, we have no business going into a war.

It does not surprise me, but it does pain me to see how veterans and their families are treated once they are of "no use" to the military. Shame on those who make these decisions. We owe them much more.


Commenter: Michele Rowan
Thank you for reporting this heart wrenching story so objectively. As you entered into the private lives of the brain trauma victims and their families you could feel the respect given to each individual. The young wives will need all the support they can get. Not to diminish in any way the deaths of the first responders to the Towers on Sept.11. 2001, I do need to question why our soldiers' families aren't treated just as well.
Our military recruiters must make teenage applicants aware of the possibility of long term injuries. Programs like this should be shown at the AEC.


Commenter: A.T
Why can we can afford to waste hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out nefarious and avaricious bankers, but not afford to provide decent care for our war wounded. Shame of us! Particularly ashamed should be, those who supported [including the deeply humbled, regretful and ashamed writer of this comment] the Iraq war.
What sort of a nation are we, that our best and brightest have to live in such a heart wrenching state. Where are our priorities?
While I am no prognosticator, common sense informs me that, any country which fails their injured warriors, does not have a bright future or even a very long life.


Commenter: Alex in Brooklyn
In 2004 Senetor Obama asked, "are we serving them as well as they are serving us"? and we still are not. I believe he is still committed to our soldiers, sailors, and marines but one man is not enough. We all need to be committed to them especially when they are in dangerous situations. Write to your Representatives and Senators to tell them we need legislation, NO MATTER THE COST, that serves the men and women that serve us. Find a verteran, shake thier hand, and say, "THANK YOU"!


Commenter: anonymous
I am dismayed by the actions of the WH and the President's inability or lack thereof for the support of this bill. I voted for the President partly on his stance to support and increase support of our veteran's. I will certainly be writing him a letter and making a phone call. The very least we can do is support our troops, and in all ways.


Commenter: Neal Schwabauer
I think Bush, Chaney, Rumsfeld, Rove, & Linbaugh, should be stripped of there millions, & use their money for our wounded soldiers. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SENT THEM!


Commenter: Michael @ Ft Benning
Great show. Why don't you investigate the quite good work that the DArmy is doing in response to the Walter Reed Hospital scandal and the subsequent recommendations of the Dole-Shalala report?

The Army has established Warrior Transition Battalions (WTB) at a number of posts, and arguably the most trend-setting WTB is at Fort Benning.

A recommendation.


Commenter: robert hayward
I can't add anything to what has already been said except our that representatives should hang there heads in shame.


Commenter: G. Fraser
I think the families of seriously disabled vets should be compensated if they care for their family members. And above everything else the stipend should be more like $20 an hour. I also think they should be back compensated for their care. And they should have a choice to let a private company care for their loved one or do it themselves and also be able to go back and forth between these choices because that kind of care is taxing on an individual or family. I think this story was very touching and congress should be bending over backwards to care for these people and their families.


Commenter: robert hayward
I can't add anything to what has already been said except our that representatives should hang there heads in shame.


Commenter: anne warren
I am deeply saddened by the lack of care and assistance our soldiers and families recieve after coming home from this war. And especially so after seeing your program on caregivers for soldiers with brain related injuries! Yes, the government owes these families assistance -- without question! How can we ask them to go over there and risk their lives and then just ignore their struggles when they come home broken and brain damaged and depressed. This government should be ashamed for ignoring this growing problem. I implore the Obama administration to support any legislation that is for the rehabilation of our soldiers and assistance to their famlies. We've spent billions on the banks and they just keep getting fatter and richer -- what about a few billion for these soldiers!!!!


Commenter: Sylvia Evans
We should DEFINITELY provide caregiver support and financial assistance to caregivers of Veterans. Anybody who has ever been a caregiver knows how difficult it can be and how much it is absolutely necessary that support be given to people in that position.

Sylvia Evans


Commenter: M Z
It brought tears to my eyes to watch these families struggle to care for their loved ones. Our government would do better if they spent the money we are spending on this war on our injured soldiers instead. The number of soldiers who will come home this way will only increase. Even as a financial aspect, it is time to stop the nonsense of fighting a war where the people there hate us, where we are going bankrupt fighting and it only continues with no end in sight. I would rather go bankrupt caring for these injured soldiers we have now. Where are our priorities? Where is the logic? Let's stop the madness. These injured soldiers are brave men and women who have given there all to support our government's policies. Let's support them and take care of them and their families. Let's spend our tax money on them, not Iraq or Afghanistan. We can't afford to waste any more lives or money. Let's bring all our soldiers home. Please.


Commenter: Jaydee Hale
Your show today about "Who Is Helping Our Wounded Vets?" broke my heart and I cried through the entire show. This needs to be taken to Prime Time and shown on every news cast, morning and evening. Where better to allocate funds than on those who made the ultimate sacrifice so we would have the freedom to waste money on nonsensical things, yet through a twist of fate, they managed to live. We owe them and the families who care for them everything! I have been a caregiver and know what a struggle it is. My son has served in the Army for 26 nows and thank God, has never been wounded but so many have not been so blessed as he. Please help these young men and their families!


Commenter: R Owens
The responsiblity for these soldiers is squarly at the feet of, George W. Bush, every Congressperson who voted of it, and enyone who voted for Bush.Send the bill to them.
All any volenteer serviceperson had to do was ask my WW11 veteran father how the service will drop you after they have used you up. Nothing new here.
They want you to get your solice from your Purple Heart and combat medals.


Commenter: John North
Hello, Please bear in mind I have few computer skills. But I wish you would contact me I have an excellent idea to assist the severly disabled veterans in the U S. It costs very little and it would provide first class care for ALL serverly disabled veterans.I "hope" I hear from you. My phone 605-352-0954 email Johnnorth@hotmail.com Thanks, John North


Commenter: Swindle
We keep Praying for Mr Noss....... everyday keep up the great work..

Lebanon oregon loves you.


Commenter: lill
SOCIAL SECURITY SHOULD RETURN TO ITS ORIGINAL STATE. IF YOU DON'T PUT NOTHING IN, YOU DON'T GET NOTHING OUT. NEITHER THE PRESIDENT NOR OTHER POLITICIAN WILL BE ABLE TO CHANGE IT.
WELFARE CHECKS WILL BE HANDED OUT ON FRIDAYS AT THE END OF THE 40 HOUR WORK WEEK.
PAY OFF THE NATIONAL DEBT, AND TAKE CARE OF THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO PROVIDE FOR OUR DAY TO DAY FREEDOMS.
CLOSE UP THE WIDE HOLE THAT GIVES OUT FREE MONEY TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOTHING FOR IT. GIVE THE INJURED VETS AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE AMD CARE FOR THEM FOOD STAMPS, AND THE ASSISTANCE THEY NEED. THEY DESERVE IT, NOT THE ASS WHO HAS NEVER WORKED AND PAID INTO OUR SYSTEM


Commenter: Dave kronner
"Who's helping our wounded vets'? I watched in horror to many "american people" are prepared to send someone elses son or daughter to fight WAR'S but not so prepared to help whean the vets return injured americans have responsibity to raise taxes if necessary to help these soilders.


Commenter: Dorothy J. Anthony
Your coverage of injured veterans is excellent, and may it open the eyes of the U.S. government to the many needs of our returning vets.


Commenter: Dave Turner
We owe these grievously wounded veterans anything and everything their needs require. It's that simple.


Commenter: Cecil and Juanita Johnson
Since seeing this program we are very angry with our Nations Leaders,(present and past), News Media, and the bleeding hearts concerning fairness for Prisoners and everyone but our Military Families. It is time for Lobbyist to put all there money where it is needed most, and it is not in the pockets of Congressmen and Senators. Give them a stipend of $10 an hour and let them live like most of those they represent.
Oh Yes, we are very thankful our Son came home seemingly ok, we don't know the future.


Commenter: TOMMYandsarah Bolling
we are so proud of what you all have done and for staying together God Bless all of you. We think that everone should be compensated and always taken care of by our military.Thank you all for our freedom.I Pray that God will always be with each and every one of youand he will heal each one. WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH.


Commenter: Ian Zukawsky
This story has brought tears to my eyes. In the case of the soldiers who were injured in Iraq, I really believe we failed them. We as a nation sent them into a War that made no sense whatsoever. We failed them because they trusted their country would only put them in harms if it were indeed necessary.

As for the yearly cost of paying stipends to the family caregivers, I believe we are talking about one third with what AIG dispenses in bonuses. Unbelievable no? Are we becoming a country of have and have-nots? Perhaps we have always been but we just never noticed it.


Commenter: Dorothy
Caregivers definitely should be given help. Our soldiers deserve everything we can do for them to help them recover. Bless them all.


Commenter: Xcorps
I just watched the NOW episode 'Who's Helping The Wounded Vets'. Heart wrenching journalism! Tough stories that needed to be told.

In most wars those at home don't see the dead. In this war because of medical miracles we see those who have walked back from the dead...and their on TV.

I felt for Eric Edmondson and all the others handed a 'Bad Hand'. This episode of NOW should be required watching- airing repeatedly on all White House-Senate-House and Congress big-screen TVs!

JSE


Commenter: RACHEL C.
It is truly saddening to know that our administration for our great country does not have a clue what they have put our family members through by first of all, starting this war and lastly, being incapable to support those they once held high respects to for their services to our country.
Any agency that takes care of anything, even our pets, are paid to do so. Why aren't these family members being paid as well for their services? They are the ones, ultimately, who make the bigger sacrifice i.e. giving up careers, homes, lives and the list grows tremendously.


Commenter: Vina
I just watched your show, Who's caring for our wounded vets and it brought me to tears. I was shocked to learn that President Obama has not endorsed this proposed legislation! I am a liberal who voted for Mr. Obama, I am anti-war but still support our brave troops. One of the things I disliked about the Bush administration was that they consistently resisted fully funding the VA or raising our soldiers pay. I will be writing the White House to urge President Obama to sign this urgent law & I'll be posting this on twitter too. These vets and their families desperately need our help..even if it means raising our taxes to do it!! Thank you for this eye opening report..I wish every network would carry it in prime time for every American to see.
Aloha, Vina Fresno, California


Commenter: Sarah
I have had an ingtensive care unit in my home for 24 years. It is hard work, challenging, and sometimes exhausting, but it isn't dull. I have a lot of experiece in efficiency. You must be efficient to get through with a good atmosphere. A positive mental attitude is 90 percent. It is a choice in any moment. Now that I am aware that there is such a need, I will try to find a niche where I can help. I
started a Home Health Agency to be able to care for my son who has been on a ventilator for 24 years. He is not brain damaged, but moves only his eyeballs and his chin. Faith is essential. IT IS A DISGRACE THAT WE WOULD SPEND 95 MILLION DOLLARS FOR SECURITY FOR A SHOW TRIAL IN NYC FOR BATTLEFIELD COMBATANTS. WE COULD PUT THAT 95 MILLION, JUST FOR SECURITY MIND YOU, THAT'S NOT THE LAWYER FEES THAT WILL BE MILLIONS
UPON MILLIONS, FOR NOTHING, INTO CARING FOR OUR VETS. AND IT WILL COST 91 MILLION TO CLOSE GITMO. We only use up to 3 percent of our brains. We could put some of the massive waste of money that is going on into brain research to perhaps tap the remaing 97 percent that who knows, might be the answer. Best, Sarah


Commenter: DeadVets Brother
RyAnne: God Bless you. NEVER GIVE UP; same for the Edmundsons. My brother died 6 months after being diagnosed w/non-Hodgkins Lymphoma: presumptively from Agent Orange and his 1966 Vietnam duty. The VA care then resembled the 'Born On The Fourth Of July' scenes. It is now better for 'regular' care (I go for outpatient care and checkups, nothing serious...yet).
I AM ASHAMED AND P-O'ED PLENTY about this NON-support from Obama. I voted for him, but THIS ONE WAFFLING will be the ONLY time I will vote for him if he doesn't stand up and do the right thing. Oh yeah: Rove, Cheney, Rummy, Bush: "I CAN'T HEAR YOU..." either, G'damnit!


Commenter: jayne ferrante
This was heartbreaking. I wonder if we HAD to consider ALL the costs, including the rehabilitation and care for ALL disabled Veterans if we would so readily go off to start war on people who did nothing to us. Even if we could rationalize Afghanistan in order to go in and kill the terrorist training camps...is it realistic to try and rebuild a country that exits in such a state and doesn't want us?

How can these families take on this burden without our support? It is cowardly on our part to leave it to them alone.


Commenter: tom
I really wonder why the real question being asked is why words like freedom, patriotism and love of country are still being thrown around. I see no change in attitude about the wanton destruction of war which is neither necessary or ethical.

Those who keep their silence will be responsible for a new generation who blindly march to the wardrums of their government and the trajedies of these stories will have been in vain.


Commenter: Kimberly Sauceda
I just finished watching the show on PBS about compensating our vets families for their care, who is the one questioning this because if we can pay for the medical bills of young girls having babies at a young age, no education, no jobs then why can't we pay for our veterans care when they put their lives on the line for our freedom. I am a full blown American that strongly believes that if anybody deserves to be compensated for the sole care of our vets would be the family member who has given up their life to care for them. Watching this show made me think that I thank God for me not having a son or daughter that wanted to join the military becuz if we can't take care of them then the United States does not deserve to have my child serve in the military.


Commenter: Janet Pappas
The NOW presentation showing veterans with traumatic brain injuries moved me to tears--and to anger. How can we NOT help these families care for the men and women who put themselves on the line for all Americans? Veteran rehabilitation has become a major cost of war and should be included as part of the funding of any conflict we get into. For these survivors, the war is not over when the last bullet is fired. Is it not enough that these families have essentially "lost" the loved one they knew? Do they in addition have to give up their own lives to provide the care that their loved one should be entitled to? All U.S politicians had better wake up and provide this funding immediately. And next time, think long and hard about whether war is the answer.


Commenter: Douglas J Stuart
As a non-wounded vet I'm absolutely shocked that the traumatic head injured vets and their care givers are not given any amount of financial help they need!! Even back in 1963 I had trouble getting my G.I. Bill education rights after serving 3 years in the Army and being discharged Honorably!!! Things never change....What a crime. Doug Stuart


Commenter: Charles
These veterans are compensated through disability payments and health insurance. If they are married their wives and husbands are also given health insurance. If viewers were paying attention, they would have heard that there are long term facilities for these veterans where they are cared for. The example of the one young man who only had significant progress when he went to a facility in Chicago.
There are 47-million americans w/o health insurance in this country. The Democrats in office are not committed to a public option and everyone watching this program wants to extend bennefits to people who do not need them, because there are other alternatives available that will fullfill the veterans needs, like the care facility in Chicago.


Commenter: Mary T
We must support the family members who have sacrificed their jobs, home, and security to care for their family members who suffered brain injuries while fighting our country's wars. It's unconscionable that we as taxpayers don't give these families the resources they need to continue the care these soldiers need. Where have our priorities gone? Are we a people of all talk and no show?

S. 1963 is a good start! Let's get behind it NOW!


Commenter: Joyce Sammel
Every time I see a story or report of the dreadful impact of brain injuries on our young men and women I weep for them and I can't help but wonder how the men in D. C. - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc., can lay their heads on a pillow at night and sleep with all that tragedy resulting from their bad judgment in starting that Iraq mess. If they had paid attention to the REAL problem of terrorism threatening the USA instead of committing this nation to that, many of those young men & women would be living the lives they were born to LIVE - and maybe the mess in Afghanistan would have been ended by now. In my opinion, that Bush-Cheney team shoulw bd indicted for war crimes!


Commenter: ralph heymann
The national media are reporting
about the demonstrations of students on the various University of California
campuses and their anger at the budget cuts concerning their education.
I would be much more impressed by these demonstrations if they were directed against the ever increasing war budget, amounting to $700 bio. for fiscal year 2010.
Students should realize that
their difficulties stem from the sad fact that our national treasure is being wasted in, to be kind, very questionable excursions into
Irag and Afghanistan, not to mention Kosovo, etc. etc.


Commenter: Kathy Essex
Please keep up the good work exposing the lack of care for our wounded veterans. Let's put pressure on our congressmen to provide the care that is needed.
Thank you.


Commenter: Ann Weinhauer
We MUST care for our wounded vets!!!! The Care Giver stipend would be a start. We need a great deal of research on brain injury, and special facilities with specifically-trained professionals to reach these wounded heroes. After a stroke, it is estimated that there is only six months to regain lost neural function. We must have a Brain Injury program which will immediately start a rigorous rehab for every brain injured vet. We must NOT lose time wandering in the vagaries of government ineptitude!


Commenter: Lorna E Smith
Many of these vets, like many premature babies, and some old people, should have been allowed to die, rather than face life as a burden and vegetable. Quality of life matters!!! When will we get the message?


Commenter: Connie
I voted "yes" for caregivers to get compensated. Lord knows they deserve it! You should too. Love ya, Connie


Commenter: William Dent
To win robust healthcare reform and leave the families of veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries to piece together care for these veterans with minimal help from the government would be a hollow victory. These are wars we can and should win decisively on both fronts. If we do not choose to win these wars, we are not fit to play on the world stage.


Commenter: P. O
This progrm moved me to tears. Not only for the wounded soldier but,for the lives and future of those young wives and children. So very sad. Yes, Mrs, R..you are right to ask Bush,Cheney and Rumfelt..What Now?


Commenter: Rosemary Anton
I'm so incredibly ashamed to think that our country uses these young people to protect us, but then tells them for all practical purposes, "You're on your own."

We have an unwritten and badly dishonored contract with them. You are willing to risk your lives for us. We will provide you with the best care available when you are injured in the process.

God bless the loyal and devoted caregivers. How can we not do our part to support them?


Commenter: Tom Mullon
I have followed the progress of S.1963 through the Senate and am pleased that Sen. Coburn R/OK, finally has agreed to support the legislation. NOW seems to indicate that Pres. Obama might not support the legislation. This is a false premise. Pres. Obama has supported all legislation that would benefit active duty and veterans since he came into office.

This tainted journalism by your program is unfair at least! Sen. Coburn was the obstacle not Obama.


Commenter: janet dinwiddy
I wept as I watched your program tonight. I was a care giver for my husband (who suffered from a rare neurological condition ,PSP) for 8 years, so I am only too familiar with the burden and the stress.
I would be happy to provide respite for any of these wonderful care givers. I would also like to let it be known that it is not only the wounded vets and their loved oned who need support but many many others who struggle with the day to day care of their ageing and sick loved ones.Janet Dinwiddy


Commenter: Bob
The politicians should quit pussy footing around the fact that they do not want to pay for a lifetime of health care. Killing the men with benign neglect is OK but actually admitting we refuse to pay for the treatment of the injuries they sustained is the last thing they want to admit.

They should NOT be treated by the military! That's like letting the fox guard the hen house, the mafia investigate organized crime, or a lion herd sheep. They are not being paid to not fight. They are being paid to follow orders regardless of whether they have the resources, manpower, training, or time, and that's exactly what they do. Anything else would be revolt.

The families should be given all the funds the government would spend to do the job right. Where families are unwilling or unable to care for our vets, the vets should be cared for in private facilities that are certified capable to do the job. Those facilities should be re-certified at least on a yearly basis. Abusers should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.


Commenter: karen bernstein
Our wounded veterans and their families who care for them should be one of our greatest priorities.
As a start, shift any and ALL direct or indirect resources the federal, state and local governments provide to benefit illegal aliens in this country to benefit our veterans and their families.


Commenter: Norleen McClelland
When are we the people and our elected officials going to revamp the "1st class" health care the elected officials receive - that we the people pay for - when we cannot even afford to pay for our own health insurance?

The elected officials get good pay, many stipends, many extra benefits,and FREE MEDICAL INSURANCE? This needs to end.


Commenter: RDR
I am writing to the WH to sign this bill. Perhaps if the President wasn't trying to break the country with his big $$$$ agendas we could easily care for those who gave everything for us. How dare he hesitate to even consider not signing this into law?


Commenter: bill taylor
We talk tough about how we value the service of our military but when it comes time to step up to the plate & take care of our military no matter the cost thats when people start schuffling their feet. Quit bailing out private industry & bailout our vets & their families.


Commenter: Ingrid Larson
The severely brain injured veterans' caregivers must be given compensation for wages lost, expenses, respite etc.
It's the only right and decent thing for our government, who decided to send these soldiers into war and harm's way, to do.
It changed not only the veteran's but all his loved ones lives forever, and not in a positiv way. We need to do more for these people.
Wars have changed, so must our ways of helping those who paid the price for it.


Commenter: MAV
Helping families care for severly disabled vets is something this country should go into debt for...not a mega corporate health insurance give away for CEOs. Those two young women in your story have no idea how physically and mentally tough it will be to take care of those men at home. Any mental health care worker will tell you it's a recipe for disaster.


Commenter: Lou Hogstrom
to not pay for care, for these soldiers, is absolutely unacceptable. all memebers of the politcal administration need to experience, first hand the ravages (consequences) of war--an attitude shift is in order.
politicos want to vote for war, no problem; let them be the first to join the front lines--i.e.--put themselves in harms way


Commenter: Margaret St. John
It shames me to know how wantonly we use our country's great wealth, often for destructive purposes--and at the same time actually debate whether or not to compensate the family caregivers of these soldiers. How can we even question such support?


Commenter: Mrs. R.
Regarding the soldiers returning with these devastating brain injuries and their families -- where is Mr. Bush now? Where is Mr. Cheney now? Where is Mr. Rumsfeld now? Where is Mr. Rove now?


Commenter: haicha
i would like to volunteer by helping a family in need for a caregiver.contact me @haicha3@hotmail.com


Commenter: Becky
I think we should move our welfare funds to help care for our wounded soldiers and their caregivers. These people have given themselves for our freedom and instead of taking care of these people we have a welfare system that breeds laziness and drug use.


Commenter: anonymous
Care givers should be entitled to a stipend and also some kind of health care plan, either with the VA or a civilian plan, such as medicare or something similiar.

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