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Remarks by President Bush, Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala on Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors Report Implementation
Date:10/16/2007

ing where out-patients were living that was substandard was shut down. They were moved to high-quality housing, and those responsible were held to account. And to ensure wounded troops at Walter Reed and other facilities across America get the care they deserve, I asked Senator Dole and Secretary Shalala to chair a bipartisan presidential commission. The commission conducted a comprehensive review of the care provided to service members returning from the global war on terror from the time they leave the battlefield through their return to civilian life.

At the end of this review, the commission submitted specific recommendations for modernizing and improving our system of care. My administration strongly supports the commission's recommendations. We've taken steps to implement them where we can through administrative action. And today we're sending Congress legislation to implement the recommendations that require legislative action.

The legislation will help us achieve three important goals. First, this legislation will modernize and improve the way we evaluate disabilities and award compensation for injured service members. Right now the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs both have their own systems for making these determinations. The commission found that this process is difficult to navigate and confusing for service members and their families. We need to streamline the system.

So this legislation will assign both departments clear and separate roles. The Defense Department will determine whether wounded warriors are still fit for service. Those unable to serve will receive a pension from the Defense Department based on their rank and length of service. Then they will move directly into the Veterans Affairs system, where they will receive compensation for their disabilities. This compensation will take into account both loss of earnings and the overall impact on the quality of life resulting from a service member's injury or disab
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SOURCE White House Press Office
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