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Helping the Severely Wounded Learn How to Dream Again
Date:2/27/2008

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by John Driscoll, Vice President of the National Coalition For Homeless Veterans:

"How do you change your baby's diaper if you have a stump or a hook, instead of a hand?"

With the nation at war, that kind of question is not addressed by the legion of men and women who deliver severely wounded soldiers from the battlefield to stateside medical facilities that ensure their survival. More than 60,000 U.S. troops who have been wounded during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) have made that journey in the last four years.

The signature wounds of these conflicts are different from the nation's previous wars. The enemy's weapons of choice - improvised explosive devices (IEDs) - oftentimes don't kill their victims. They main, mutilate and inflict serious internal trauma on a scale unlike anything the nation's military and veteran medical systems have encountered since the Vietnam War.

The casualties themselves, coping with pain and the terror of not knowing how serious or disabling their injuries are, will have to work through physical and emotional wounds that will tear at them for years. For some, the battle to regain a positive self image and to believe their future can be as bright as it once seemed will last the rest of their lives.

The question about how to change a baby's diaper with a hook may seem trivial compared to the weight of multiple reconstruction surgeries, stump revisions and prosthesis fittings. But at some point, the restoration of these veterans' sense of self esteem and promise will depend on their belief that they can adapt and succeed in a world filled with challenges.

A bold new initiative taking shape in New England is designed to offer seriously wounded veterans the opportunity to rediscover their potential and learn to dream again - about their careers, their families and their abil
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SOURCE National Coalition For Homeless Veterans
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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