Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Senators Lieberman and Collins' letter seeks to improve treatment for wounded warriors

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins state their concern for the care, support, treatment, and rehabilitation for our service members returning from battle with injury and illness.

Senators Lieberman and Collins are the Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Warrior Transition Units are designed to provide care, support, treatment and rehabilitation for the men and women returning from battle with injuries and illnesses. Media reports suggest that there is a backlog in care and provider shortages.

Injured service members must also deal with a confusing bureaucracy that appears to be threatening the proper treatment for the wounded. The Senators have asked for data from the Defense Department about who qualifies for treatment in the Warrior Transition Units, among other information, in order to conduct Congressional oversight.

The Warrior Transition Unit program was created to provide both quality medical and mental care and counseling to soldiers who have endured mid-level battlefield injures or wounds, said Senator Lieberman.

Lieberman said he agrees with Senator Collins that we must ensure that the WTU program is meeting the needs of our wounded soldiers and carrying out the goals and missions that it was designed to.

"I am concerned about media reports that this program has not been properly managed and administered and I am looking forward to a formal response to our letter on the matter," Lieberman stated.

"All service members deserve the best health care we can provide," said Senator Collins. "But a special level of care is required for 'him who shall have borne the battle.' We are concerned that those who were injured on the front lines are possibly being pushed to the back of the line. We can begin to provide better oversight and make a determination with the information we have requested from the Department of Defense about the program and process."

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