Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

BLACKHAWK HELICOPTER PILOT TO TELL HER STORY

TO VETERANS' COMMITTEE
VA, DOD and GAO to report on transition from active duty to veteran



(Washington, DC) Chairman Larry Craig announced today that the U.S. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee will hold a hearing concerning the transition process for military men and women after they have left the service. The hearing will examine the issues involving both those physically injured in the war on terror and discharged as a result, and those without physical injuries at the time of discharge, but who may seek health services from VA at a later date.

The hearing, titled, "Back from the Battlefield: Are we providing the proper care for America's Wounded Warriors?" will be held Thursday, March 17, starting at 10:00 a.m. in room 418 Russell Senate Office Building. It will be webcast live on the committee's website at:
http://veterans.senate.gov. It may also be audiocast on the C-SPAN
hearings website: http://www.capitolhearings.org.

"During Korea, Vietnam and the 1991 Gulf war, about one servicemember in four died from their wounds. Today's battlefield-wounded are surviving at twice the rate, but many are coming back with very severe disabilities, including missing limbs. One of those heroes, Tammy Duckworth, will testify before our committee. I want to ensure that for Tammy and others, there is a seamless transition from military service to civilian life ," said Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

Duckworth, originally from Hawaii, who was shot down while piloting a Blackhawk helicopter in Iraq for the Illinois National Guard. She lost her right leg above the knee and her left leg up to her knee after her helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG). Her right arm was also injured.

"Major Duckworth's first-hand experience in Iraq and her evacuation to Walter Reed will help us as we grapple with how best to ensure that our servicemembers, particularly our Guardsmen and Reservists, are provided with the care they need from DOD and VA," said Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), the ranking member of the Committee.

Panel 1
* Maj. Tammy Duckworth, United States Army National Guard - wounded in Iraq
* Mr. Joseph Costello, MA, Team Leader, Vets Center, Vista, CA - Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) Bronze Star winner
* Mr. David Hosking, Counselor, Vets Center, Madison, WI - Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq) Bronze Star winner

Panel 2
* Major General Kenneth L. Farmer, M.D., Commanding General, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and North Atlantic Regional Medical Command
* Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D. PhD, MSHA, FACP Acting Under Secretary for Health
* Ms. Cynthia A. Bascetta, Director, Veterans Health and Benefits, Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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