Wartime Traumatic Brain Injury: Illinois Not Waiting For A Bush Administration Heckuva-Brownie-Job
Screening for Brain Injury Is Set for Illinois Veterans
By LIBBY SANDER
Published: July 4, 2007
CHICAGO, July 3 — Frustrated with the federal government’s response to the mental health needs of soldiers, Illinois officials announced on Tuesday that members of the state’s National Guard would be routinely screened for traumatic brain injuries after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The mandatory program, which appears to be the first in the nation, will also offer the screening to other veterans in the state and will include a 24-hour hot line providing psychological counseling to veterans of all military branches. The program is expected to cost $10.5 million a year.
“It’s been shown that the federal government simply was not prepared to deal with the number of war injured coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Tammy Duckworth, the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot who lost both legs on active duty in Iraq.
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