Benefits for wounded warriors expanded
BY World's Editorials Writers
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 2:44 AM
Brain injuries always have been prevalent in war, but the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shined light on a wound that has been in need of healing. Now, the Department of Veterans Affairs have proposed new regulations that will make it easier for thousands of veterans to receive health care and compensation to illnesses linked to traumatic brain injury.
The new regulations lists Parkinsonism, unprovoked seizures, certain dementias, depression and hormone deficiency diseases related to the hyopothalamus as eligible for the expanded benefits.
Since 2000, the Defense Department has reported that more than 250,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBI. Of those, 51,000 are receiving benefits for service-related TBI. The majority of the injuries have been diagnosed in nondeployed troops involved in vehicle crashes, training accidents or sports injuries. Nevertheless, those affected were in service to their country and deserve consideration for benefits.
How many more current or former service members might apply for the expanded benefits is unclear.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought a new kind of warfare to the battle - the improvised explosive device. Booby traps and bombs have long been a part of war, but the roadside IEDs have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan and have wounded a great deal of U.S. and coalition troops.
Brain injuries and related suicides have spiked during these two wars.
Some wounds are obvious. As we learn more and more, other wounds, just as debilitating can remain unseen for decades or even a lifetime.
Tending to our wounded warriors is no place for skimping. This is a welcome adjustment that could serve thousands of current and former servicemen and women who once felt forgotten.
Original Print Headline: Help for wounded