The majority of the 1.6 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan remain members of the military, and they rely solely on the Department of Defense (DoD) to care for their combat-related injuries and readjustment needs. Unfortunately, DoD has underestimated the scope of the problems that our troops face upon their return and current policies only exacerbate these problems.Veterans for America’s (VFA) Wounded Warrior Outreach Program is concerned with the staggeringly high levels of mental health problems and neurological injuries experienced by today’s troops, and the lack of resources and rehabilitative programs available for our wounded.We are also especially troubled with the deployment policies that have been used since 9/11. Too many members of our military have been repeatedly exposed to high-intensity combat with insufficient time at home between deployments. These policies have had a profoundly devastating effect on the mental-health of our troops and their families.
Members of the military desperately need a voice, and Veterans for America’s Wounded Warrior Outreach Program provides it.
Our program different is because, at its core, is the voice of our troops. We maintain the internet-based Wounded Warrior Registry, where servicemembers tell us their stories. From these testimonials, VFA is able to identify failing military policies and practices as well as trends in service-connected injuries. From this data, VFA can identify patterns, often troubling, in causes, symptoms, and treatments of post-combat needs.
In addition to the Registry, we have a unique investigative program that allows us to access servicemembers at military bases across the country. We also have a robust research program that is able to further highlight the needs of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We believe that real solutions require the involvement of many parties. Our Wounded Warrior Outreach Program brings together servicemembers, military medical professionals, former government employees, and former members of the media. This critical combination of expertise allows us to draft and promote legislation, suggest and critique policy, advocate on behalf of individual servicemembers, and educate various audiences.
VFA works to effect positive changes in the treatment of our wounded warriors by making our findings available to servicemembers, military leaders, Members of Congress, and the press.