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Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Applauds the Senate for Passing Crucial Family Caregiver Legislation
Date:11/19/2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project applauds the United States Senate for passing a crucial family caregiver bill that will offer critical support to the families of the most severely wounded warriors. While grateful for the bill's passage, WWP now urges Senate and House veterans' champions to work swiftly and come to consensus on strong caregiver-assistance provisions for enactment into law.

"When a warrior gets wounded, the entire family unit is hurt; the more severe the injury, the more severe the impact on these families. This is simply a reality that we now must acknowledge," stated Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director Steven Nardizzi. "For those who are so badly injured that they continue to need 24/7 help from loved ones, we must ensure that these family caregivers get the support they need. To do less is to do nothing."

Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee introduced this caregiver-assistance legislation and shepherded the bill out of committee and to the Senate floor. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, helped shape the legislation and win bi-partisan support. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin were also integral in moving the bill forward.

Winning establishment of a strong family-caregiver assistance program is Wounded Warrior Project's highest legislative priority this year. S. 1963 reflects keen recognition of the emotional, psychological, physical and financial toll borne heroically by the families of our most gravely wounded warriors. In some instances, the injuries are so severe that the veteran requires help with such basic needs as washing and showering, feeding, dressing, administering medications, and getting to physician and therapy appointments. Some who have suffered traumatic brain injury, often complicated by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, require near-constant supervision to ensure their safety. This legislation at last offers these families, who have sacrificed so much, the promise that some of their own basic needs - including respite, health coverage, counseling, and modest financial assistance - will be met. These are critical to ensure that these families will be able to sustain their critical caregiving.

S. 1963 was supported by a broad coalition of Veterans and Military Service Organizations and WWP was proud to work with groups like Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), National Military Family Association (NMFA) and Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) on ensuring passage.

"Senate passage of this legislation is a crucial step in seeing family caregiver supports become a reality," Nardizzi continued. "We look forward to working, together with our coalition, on ensuring a strong final bill becomes law for our wounded warriors."

Steven Nardizzi and family caregivers are available for interviews.

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project


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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project
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