Post 9/11 veterans' lifetime medical costs mounting
Sioux City Journal
September 13, 2014
Jerral Hancock's stepfather, Dirrick Benjamin, helps him take his medication. He and Hancock's mother take care of him full time, helping him with everyday tasks like getting dressed and drinking water.Jerral Hancock wakes up every night in Lancaster, Calif., around 1 a.m., dreaming he is trapped in a burning Army tank. He opens his eyes, but he can't move, he can't get out of bed and he can't get a drink of water.
Hancock, 27, joined the military in 2004 and went to Iraq, where he drove a tank. On Memorial Day 2007 -- one month after the birth of his second child -- Hancock drove over an IED, or improvised explosive device. Just 21, he lost his arm and the use of both legs, and now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Department of Veterans Affairs pays him $10,000 every month for his disability, his caretakers, health care, medications and equipment for his new life.
No government agency has calculated fully the lifetime cost of health care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, with the veterans' higher survival rates, longer tours of duty and multiple injuries, plus the anticipated cost to the VA of reducing the wait times for medical appointments and reaching veterans in rural areas.
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Friday, September 13, 2013
Cost of caring for wounded war fighters, priceless
If you thought all you had to do was show up to send them off, you forget about welcoming them home. If you thought all you had to do was say a prayer for them or visit a grave once a year, then you forgot about the ones that did make it home. If you thought the price of war stops when Congress says so, think again. Congress never did get it right for veterans of any generation and now they fail this generation as well. We're not off the hook because we just didn't care long enough.