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Presidential Commission Wants Proper Care of Wounded Soldiers at Their Homes

The US presidential commission investigating the plight of the soldiers wounded in the killing fields of Iraq and Afghanistan has focused on efforts to enable the GIs receive proper treatment in their own homes .

During its seventh and last hearing Friday, the Commission admitted todays veterans are more likely than those of previous conflicts to suffer from polytrauma, including burns, brain injury and shrapnel from explosives, making their treatment more complicated.

The health care system should also take into account the strain that puts on family members, commissioners said, and should make more use of contractors who can help in out-patient care.

Because todays wounds are different and the families of the veterans are different many are older, with homes and spouses to return to more veterans should be allowed to return home for treatment, they said.

Returning patients to their homes can relieve the strain on some families, said commissioners, who reported that some relatives must now leave their homes and jobs to assist with their service members treatment in distant hospitals run by the Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs.

But caring for injuries at home requires support from the V.A., they said, and support offered now is often insufficient.

Another consideration is that the patients physical wounds are also accompanied by post-traumatic stress disorder, commissioners said.

Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan and chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee said the Senates veterans bill, which is scheduled for the floor, seeks to improve medical record sharing between the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as address discrepancies in the disability ratings each department uses to determine how much in benefits a service member is paid each month.

Representative Steve Buyer, Republican of Indiana and the ran
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