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Monday, October 09, 2006

An Iraq Veteran Speaks to Congress

A snippet of congressional testimony given by Garett Reppenhagen, a calvalry scout and sniper in the Army's 1st Infantry Division from 2004-2005:

I didn’t expect to come home to find there is no plan for addressing the needs of veterans like myself, and with each passing day, I grow more and more concerned that there is no plan from the VA on how to serve the thousands of veterans like me who have served our country proudly and now find ourselves without the help we need. I don't understand how, despite being in the middle of not one, but two wars, our government is actually scaling back on services that are critical for men and women trying to re-enter civilian society.

I don't understand how in 2006 we're still debating if PTSD exists when people have suffered from war trauma for decades. We have seen that the consequences of war affect those who serve, and those close to them, for years to come. And I don’t understand why our country would choose not to take steps to make sure veterans like me get the care we deserve before we end up another generation abandoned by the country we fought to defend.

Well worth the time to read the whole thing.

[UPDATE Mar 27 2007]: Just came across this video of testimony given by "Sgt. Patrick Campbell, who discusses the lack of adequate health care for returning Iraqi War veterans. He is a combat medic in the D.C. National Guard and a veteran of the Iraqi War. On 09/26/06, he was part of panel of witnesses that appeared before the Iraq Forum, chaired by the Hon. Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), in the U.S. Capitol, Room HC-6."

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