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july/august 2008

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BY ALAN GIBSON, CHAIR
Current RAND studies indicate that 300,000 veterans suffer from depression or PTSD after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and that 320,000 received traumatic brain injuries. Vietnam veterans know what PTSD causes in the workforce, but TBI issues have not been fully appreciated—especially undiagnosed concussions. Only 43 percent reported ever being evaluated by a physician for head injuries.

Without full scientific evidence, who knows what the workforce will be able to handle or how many OIE/OEF veterans will be able to handle meaningful jobs at a living wage?

VA studies already show higher rates of unemployment among our newest veterans, and those working are doing so for less money than their counterparts earn.

Some questions we have been asked are:

  • What are the long-range implications for each state?
  • Are these veterans having higher unemployment due to the elimination of Second Injury Fund programs in many states?
  • How do states differ in compensating emotional and physical injuries that develop later?

There are more questions, but these few need to be answered now. What are your individual states doing? Without answers to these questions and knowledge of what different states are doing or not doing, VVA cannot determine what can be done to protect our sons, daughters, grandsons, and granddaughters. Please let the committee hear from you so we can be of assistance to all veterans, including those from our own era.

In our report on Resolutions, I inadvertently left Ted Daywalt off the list of committee members. I apologize to Ted for this oversight.

 

 

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