Senator Sanders Calls for Full Funding to Treat Veterans Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries

Burlington VT Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today called for full funding to treat veterans returning from combat with traumatic brain injuries. Of the more than 23,000 troops who have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, two thirds have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. In fact, some estimates show as many as 10 percent of the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered from brain injuries, with many going undiagnosed and untreated. Sanders was joined at today

Burlington VT Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) today called for full funding to treat veterans returning from combat with traumatic brain injuries. Of the more than 23,000 troops who have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, two thirds have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. In fact, some estimates show as many as 10 percent of the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan have suffered from brain injuries, with many going undiagnosed and untreated. Sanders was joined at today's Burlington press conference by Gary DeGasta, head of the Veterans Administration Medical Center in White River Junction, and Trevor Squirrell, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Vermont. Sanders said, "With thousands and thousands of U.S. Service members returning home with traumatic brain injuries, it is critical that the VA has the resources it needs to treat and care for our troops. Unfortunately, for the second year in a row, President Bush has proposed eliminating funding for the Traumatic Brain Injury program." Despite the president's lack of action, this Congress has forged ahead to address this important issue. This past week, Sanders, along with the majority of members of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, recommended that the Budget Committee include billions more than the President's request in next year's budget for veterans' care. Included in the proposal was an increase in funding to treat traumatic brain injuries in the amount of $303.4 million. Sanders said, "As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and the Budget Committee I am pushing to make sure that Congress approves this additional funding for traumatic brain injuries and for other critical veterans' health care needs. The brave men and women who have served this country deserve no less than the best care available."Click here for photos from the press conference.

Click here to read Bernie's statement.