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VIEWS: 24 PAGES: 321

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                 U N I T ED STATES NAVAL INSTITUTE
      M I L I T A R Y OFFICERS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
                      D EFENSE FORUM WASHINGTON




         A N E W N ORMAL: HOW IS THE WAR WITHIN
        T R A N S F O RMING OUR FORCE AND FAMILIES?




              F r iday, September 10, 2010

                        9:00 a.m.




      H y a t t R e g ency Washington on Capitol Hill
                 4 0 0 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
                     W ashington, D.C. 20001




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                                 C O N T E N T S

                                                               PAGE

      We l c o m e                                               5

      Op e n i n g K i c k o f f Speaker:

         S e n a t o r J a m e s Webb
         U . S . S e n a t o r [D -VA]                          12

      Pa n e l : " N a v i g a t ing Recovery: Are We
      Me e t i n g N e e d s a nd Expectations?                 44

         Moderator:

         M r . J o h n R . C ampbell
         D e p u t y U n d e r Secretary of Defense
             f o r W o u n d e d Warrior Care and
             T r a n s i t i o n Policy                         45

         Panelists:

         M a j G e n T o d M . Bunting, ANG
         T h e A d j u t a n t General
         K a n s a s A r m y a nd Air National Guard            47

         S g t M a j J o h n P loskonka, USMC
         S e r g e a n t M a j o r of the Headquarters
             M a r i n e C o r p s Wou nded Warrior Regiment    51

         J e a n L a n g b e i n , LCSW
         O E F / O I F P r o g r am Manager
         V A M e d i c a l C e nter
         W a s h i n g t o n , D .C.                            52

         S S G C h a r l e s E ggleston, USA (Ret.)
         W o u n d e d V e t e r an                             56

         P a m e l a S t o k e s Eggleston
         D i r e c t o r o f D evelopment
         B l u e S t a r F a m ilies
         W i f e / C a r e g i v e r of a Wounded Veteran       61




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      Pa n e l : " C o n f r o n ting the Reintegration
      Pr o c e s s - E m b r a cing the Experience"           106

        Moderator:
        Alex Quade
        A w a r d-W i n n i n g Freelance War R eporter       107

        Panelists:

        S F C M i c h a e l S chlitz, USA (Ret.)
        B r o o k e A r m y M edical Center (BAMC)
        W o u n d e d V e t e r an                            115

        Robbi Schlitz
        M o t h e r / C a r e g i ver of a Wounded Veteran    122

        M a r i e t t e K a l i nowski
        U S M C W o u n d e d Warrior                         127

        M i c h a e l F . D a bbs
        President
        B r a i n I n j u r y Association of Michigan         131

        C A P T K e y W a t k ins, USN
        Commander
        N a v y S a f e H a r bor Program                     139

      Lu n c h e o n K e y n o t e Speakers:                  168

        M r s . S h e i l a C asey
        A d v o c a t e f o r Wounded Warrior Efforts         170

        G e n e r a l G e o r g e W. Casey, Jr., USA
        C h i e f o f S t a f f of the U.S. Army              177

      Pa n e l : " T h e N e w Normal: Hope for the Future"   209

        Moderator:

        S t e p h e n C o c h r an
        C o u n t r y S i n g e r/Songwriter
        I r a q / A f g h a n i s tan USMC Wounded Veteran    211




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      Pa n e l i s t s :

         B r u c e G a n s , M .D.
         E x e c u t i v e V i c e President and
         C h i e f M e d i c a l Officer
         K e s s l e r I n s t i tute for Rehabilitation
         New Jersey                                           212

         S S G B r i a n B e e m, USA
         W o u n d e d W a r r i or
         P a r t i c i p a n t o f Operation Project Exit
             P r o g r a m , S e rving U.S. Army's
             C o n t i n u i n g on Active Duty Program       214

         Gabe Downes
         V e t e r a n - S p o u s e of Wounded Veteran CPL
             S u e D o w n s , USA (Ret.)                     217

         C o l D a v e S u t h erland, USA
         Director
         W a r r i o r a n d F amily Programs for the
             C h a i r m a n o f the Joint Chiefs of Staff    222

      Cl o s i n g K e y n o t e Speaker:                     288

         T h e H o n o r a b l e L. Tammy Duckworth
         A s s i s t a n t S e c retary fo r Public and
             I n t e r g o v e r n mental Affairs
         U . S . D e p a r t m e nt of Veterans Affairs       289

      Re m a r k s a n d A c k nowledgements from USNI
      an d M O A A                                            320

                                        - - -




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                                P R O C E E D I N G S

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            Good morni ng,

      la d i e s a n d g e n t lemen.      The bewitching hour of 9:00

      a. m . , 0 9 0 0 , b i g hand is up, little hand is -- we lcome

      to D e f e n s e F o r u m Washington.

                     O n b e h alf of the Military Officers

      As s o c i a t i o n o f America and the U.S. Naval

      In s t i t u t e , w e a re grateful to have all of you with

      us t o d a y t o c o n sider important efforts that are

      un d e r w a y a n d c o ntinue to be underway in the care of

      ou r w o u n d e d w a r riors, their families, those who are

      as s o c i a t e d w i t h them, the mechanisms and processes

      in D e f e n s e , i n the Veterans Administration, in

      Co n g r e s s , a n d i n the Executive about how best to

      ta k e c a r e o f t h ese wonderful patriotic Americans.

                     W e ' l l start this morning with Marching on

      th e C o l o r s .    D o n't stand up yet.            This is the only

      ti m e t o d a y I g e t to be in charge so stay with me.

      Af t e r w e ' v e b r o ught the Colors on, we will have the

      Na t i o n a l A n t h e m .   We will Retire the Colors, and

      I' l l a s k t h e C h aplain to say grace for us for

      to d a y , a n d t h e n I'll ask you to be seated again.




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                     P l e a s e rise for the Marching on of the

      Co l o r s .   M a r c h on the Colors.

                     [ M a r c h on the Colors.]

                     [ P l a y i ng of National Anthem.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            Ladies and

      ge n t l e m e n , p l e a se join me recognizing the United

      St a t e s A r m y M i l itary District of Washington Armed

      Fo r c e s C o l o r G u ard.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            And now,

      re m a i n i n g s t a n d ing, I'll ask Chaplain Kim Donahue,

      wh o i s c u r r e n t l y the National Naval Medical Center

      Ch a p l a i n , t o o f fer the Invocation.            Kim.

                     C H A P L A IN DONAHUE:      I invite you to pray

      wi t h m e .

                     D e a r e s t, closest, true lover God, we lay

      ou r s e l v e s b e f o r e you today.       Our world is hurt ing;

      yo u r w o r l d i s h urting.         Yes, that's the way it is.

      No t o n e o f u s i s in pain without your knowing.

      In d e e d , w e a r e so connected that when one hurts, we

      al l h u r t , w h e t h er we know it or not.

                     N o , L o rd, this is not news to y ou, but we




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      co n f e s s t h a t s o metimes it is news to us.    We have

      pa s s e d b y t h e s ounds of painful sighs, angry

      gl a r e s , v a c a n t eyes, and we have minded our own

      bu s i n e s s .   F o r g ive us.

                     B u t e v en more, empower us, infold us in

      yo u r l o v e s o t h at we have the strength to reac h

      be y o n d o u r o w n brokenness and our own fears to lend

      a h a n d a n d a w o rd and our hearts to one another.

                     T h e t i tle, indeed, the call to this day

      ha s d r a w n u s .    The visible and the invisible wounds

      of w a r a r e f a r - reaching and beyond our knowled ge to

      he a l .    S o m e h a v e them by courageous and virtuous

      ch o i c e , a n d o t h ers by no choice at all.    Some

      wo u n d s , L o r d , a re decades old and are still

      bl e e d i n g , a n d o thers are happening today as we pray

      an d a s w e m e d i t ate here.

                     W e c o m e knowing that no day is ever lik e

      th e d a y s t h a t p receded it or will follow, but, God,

      th e r e a r e s e a s o ns where instability becomes

      pr e d i c t a b l e , w h en a roller coaster is the symbol of

      li f e .    W h a t w i l l happen next, we ask ourselves, and

      ye t i n t h e m i d s t, your power speaks in a still,




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      ev e n q u i e t , a n d dependable voice to us.

                    S o p r e pare us now as we bow before you,

      th a t t o d a y o u r hearts would be good soil.           Scatter

      yo u r s e e d s o f h ope and faith in the words that are

      sp o k e n h e r e i n the nick of time.           Let today be such

      a g a t h e r i n g , O h , God, where we hear a new word deep

      wi t h i n a n d f i n d a new resolve, a new courage, for

      th i s n e w n o r m a l of our lives.

                    B r e a k our chains and walk us in your light

      th a t b r i n g s r a d iance and beauty to all life, even

      ou r o w n , f o r y o u have gifted each of us in this

      li f e .     E v e n w h e n the rubble of war has fallen

      ar o u n d u s a n d e ven blinded us, the gift is still

      th e r e .

                    B l e s s this gathering today that we leave

      he r e r e s o l v e d t o mind your business of healing in

      ou r w o r l d , o u r nation and our lives; resolved to

      ch a l l e n g e t h e w orries and fears, insecurities and

      ex p e c t a t i o n s t h at so cloud our vision.       We are

      wa i t i n g t o h e a r your voice here so that we can

      le a v e r e s o l v e d to be your hopeful voice pointing to

      re c o n c i l i a t i o n and peace.




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                    Y o u , O h, Lord, love us.              You are our

      st r e n g t h a n d o u r r edeemer.        Let our words bring joy

      to y o u r h e a r t t his day.         Amen.

                    M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:              Thank you,

      Ch a p l a i n D o n a h u e.   Please take your seats.

                    A s y o u look around today, whether you are

      a g u e s t o r a s p onsor, please recognize those folks

      wh o s e c o r p o r a t i o ns and individual donations ha ve

      ma d e t h i s c o n f e rence possible, and during the

      co u r s e o f t h e d ay, we will recognize each of them

      in d i v i d u a l l y a n d give them thanks because without

      th e m , w e w o u l d not be able to put this conference

      on .

                    N o w , I would like to i ntroduce Vice

      Ad m i r a l N o r b R y an, the Chief Executive of the

      Mi l i t a r y O f f i c e rs Association of America and my

      pa r t n e r i n t h i s endeavor.         Norb.

                    V A D M R YAN:      Thank you, Tom.          Good morning.

                    [ A p p l a use.]

                    V A D M R YAN:      We're very grateful for the

      te r r i f i c t u r n o u t and to get on with giving the

      ch a n c e f o r o u r guest speaker to talk, we'll cover




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      so m e o f t h e a d m inistrative details later, but on

      th e q u e s t i o n s , one of our key goals is to allow you

      to a s k q u e s t i o n s.   So we have paper and pencil back

      th e r e t o h e l p y ou to sh ape your question.            Keep it

      as b r i e f a s p o s sible so we can get an answer to you

      an d g i v e s o m e o thers a chance to ask questions.

      So , p l e a s e u s e that system.

                   W e w a n t to thank the American Physical

      Th e r a p y A s s o c i a tion for sponsoring the breakfast.

                   I t ' s n ow my real distinct pleasure and

      ho n o r t o i n t r o d uce Senator Jim Webb to you.

      Se n a t o r W e b b ' s family, I think, epitomizes what has

      ma d e t h i s c o u n t ry great.      The Webb family has

      fo u g h t i n e v e r y war, American war, that we waged.

      Th e S e n a t o r ' s f ather has served .          He and his

      br o t h e r h a v e s e rved.    His son and son -in -law have

      se r v e d a n d a r e serving.

                   S o i t ' s no surprise that when the Senator

      ca m e i n t o o f f i c e on the first day, he introduced

      th e n e w 2 1 s t C e ntury GI Bill, and ladies and

      ge n t l e m e n , n o t h ing has done mo re for the moral e of

      ou r c u r r e n t l y s erving and their families than this




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      ne w G I B i l l .

                     I t r e a lly lets them know how much we

      ap p r e c i a t e t h e i r service and sacrifice, and as you

      kn o w , t h e S e n a t or has got everybody talking about

      th e n u m b e r o n e challenge that o ur forces have

      to d a y , a n d t h a t is the lack of dwell time, the

      me m b e r w i t h t h e ir family.

                     A n d t h e Senator is the one that introduced

      th a t b i l l t h a t has got everybody talking about this

      is s u e a n d t r y i n g to improve that.       He was first in

      hi s c l a s s o f 2 4 3 at Marine Corps Basic School in

      Qu a n t i c o .   H e s erved in Vietnam, obviously, as a

      pl a t o o n a n d c o m pany commander, and was awarded the

      Na v y C r o s s , t h e Silver Star, two Bronze Star

      Me d a l s , a n d t w o Purple Hearts.

                     H e ' s t he author of nine books and was the

      18 t h S e c r e t a r y of the Navy.    He is a member of the

      Ar m e d S e r v i c e s , the Foreign Relations and the Joint

      Ec o n o m i c a n d V e terans Affairs Committees, and given

      hi s p e r s o n a l e x perience as a wounded warrior, I

      ca n ' t t h i n k o f anyone better to have a chance to

      ad d r e s s u s a n d talk about the issues from his




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      pe r s p e c t i v e .

                     S o i t ' s a great honor for me to introduce

      th e g e n t l e m a n f rom Virginia, Senator Jim Webb.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     S E N A T O R WEBB:   Thank you very much,

      Ad m i r a l R y a n , a nd I would like to begin by

      co n g r a t u l a t i n g the two g reat organizations tha t

      ha v e c o m e t o g e t her to again provide a forum, not

      on l y f o r p e o p l e who are here, but people across the

      co u n t r y , t o m o r e fully understand the nature of

      mi l i t a r y s e r v i c e today and how it interrelates with

      th e r e s t o f o u r society.

                     T h i s i s kind of a unique collaboration

      be t w e e n t h e N a v al Institute and the Military

      Of f i c e r s A s s o c i ation, and the expansion of this

      fo r u m ' s d i a l o g u e over the past three years speaks

      di r e c t l y , I b e l ieve, to the importance of the

      in t e r r e l a t i o n s h ip between organiz ations such as

      th i s a n d t h e d e cision - makers in the Congress and

      al s o t h e u n d e r s tanding of the country as a whole as

      to t h e n a t u r e o f military service today.

                     I k n o w there are many, many talented




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      pe o p l e w h o a n d dedicated people who have come

      to g e t h e r t o p a r ticipate in the conference and also

      to g i v e y o u t h e ir views on these panels.    And I'd

      li k e t o e x p r e s s my appreciation to all of them for

      sh o w i n g u p t o d a y and participating.

                   I ' d p a rticularly like to salute General

      Wi l k e r s o n a n d A dmiral Ryan and their staff s.   I'd

      li k e t o m e n t i o n again that Bob Norton on MOAA --

      wh e r e a r e y o u , Bob -- worked with me many years ago

      wh e n I w a s A s s i stant Secretary of Defense for

      Re s e r v e A f f a i r s , and he's been a very important

      vo i c e w h e n w e m ove forward on veterans' issues on

      th e H i l l .

                   A n d G e neral Wilkerson, Admiral Ryan, and

      so m a n y o t h e r s here have given decades of service

      to o u r c o u n t r y , and this ability to participate as

      le a d e r s i n t h e s e organizations, I think, is a great

      re s o u r c e f o r t h e country in terms of taking

      ad v a n t a g e o f t h e experiences and passing on wi sdom

      an d k n o w l e d g e a s we look at these new ideas and

      ch a l l e n g e s t h a t we have.

                   N i n e y ears of continuous deployments have




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      st r e s s e d o u r t o tal force and our military families

      in w a y s t h a t w e did not envision at the inception

      of t h e a l l v o l u nteer force or in the days when I

      wa s i n t h e P e n t agon in the 1980s when we were

      pu t t i n g t o g e t h e r the total force concept.

                       W h e n I chaired the SASC Personnel

      Su b c o m m i t t e e f o r the first time, one of the things

      th a t I m e n t i o n e d when we were recei ving our

      te s t i m o n y o n t h e military health programs is that

      we t r u l y a r e i n uncharted territory here in terms

      of o u r o w n h i s t ory, in terms of the complex nature

      of t h e m a k e - u p of the military, the way that it's

      be i n g u s e d , a n d we are seeing, as everyone in this

      ro o m f u l l - w e l l knows, the effects of these

      co n t i n u o u s r o t a tion cycles, multiple deployments,

      an d i n a d e q u a t e dwell time on our people in a way

      th a t w e m a y n o t be able to fully comprehend for

      de c a d e s .

                       I s a y that as someone who spent four years

      on t h e Ho u s e V e terans Committee years ago work ing

      on t h e i n i t i a l examinations of Post Traumatic

      St r e s s a n d o t h e r issues as they affected our




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      Vi e t n a m v e t e r a n s.

                    T h o s e of us who have had the privilege and

      th e h o n o r t o s e rve in our military know that one of

      th e g r e a t p r e c e pts of leadership is loyalty down,

      lo y a l t y t o t h e people who have stepped forward to

      se r v e , a n d w h o s e well - being is subject to your

      di s c r e t i o n a n d your judgment, and that sort of

      lo y a l t y a n d t h a t stewardship is a lifetime

      re s p o n s i b i l i t y for those who have had the priv ilege

      of c o m m a n d .

                    T h i s f orum, I think, is an affirmation of

      th a t p r i n c i p l e , people who have served coming

      to g e t h e r t o w o r k with people who are serving to

      he l p f i n d s o l u t ions and also to help educate the

      co u n t r y a s t o w hat the challenges really are.

                    I w o u l d say that on this issue, my

      pe r s p e c t i v e i s shaped by four different iterations

      wh e n i t c o m e s t o the United States military plus

      th e a d d i t i o n a l experience of having covered the

      mi l i t a r y a s a j ournalist, as well as doing time in

      go v e r n m e n t a n d time in uniform.

                    I , a s Admiral mentioned, I grew up as a




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      so n o f a c a r e e r Air Force officer who was able to

      ha v e t h e g r e a t privilege of commanding United

      St a t e s M a r i n e s in combat in Vietnam.

                    I s p e n t five years in the Pentagon, four

      ye a r s a s a D e f e ns e executive in the 1980s at a time

      wh e n w e w e r e p u tting together the concept that

      we ' v e n o w s e e n in action.           And I have witnessed the

      ex p e r i e n c e o f b eing a parent having a son deployed

      in h a r d c o m b a t in a totally different type of

      mi l i t a r y e n v i r o nment.

                    F o u r d ifferent periods in terms of the way

      th a t o u r m i l i t a ry is put together and the way it

      ha s b e e n d e p l o y ed and the way that we have examined

      fa m i l y i s s u e s a nd those sorts of things.

                    W h e n I was a young boy, in the wake of

      Wo r l d W a r I I , t here was a period of three -and -a-

      ha l f y e a r s w h e n my father was either continuously

      de p l o y e d o r s t a tioned at military bases stateside

      th a t d i d n ' t e v e n have family housing, much less

      th e s e s t r u c t u r e s that we put together in terms of

      fa m i l y a s s i s t a n ce.

                    I f y o u look at that fr om the perspective




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      of t h e f a m i l y o f my mother, you can see how far we

      ha v e c o m e , I t h ink, in this country and in the

      De p a r t m e n t o f D efense.     My mother, when my father

      wa s o v e r i n t h e Berlin Airlift and later stationed

      at S c o t t A i r F o rce Base in Illinois, w as a 24 -year -

      ol d m o t h e r o f f our, living in a town where she

      ha r d l y k n e w a n y one, and the definition of family

      su p p o r t a t t h a t time was my grandmother moving up

      fr o m A r k a n s a s t o live with her and, quite frankly,

      th e k i n d n e s s o f her neighbors.

                  T h e r e was no other structure that was

      de s i g n e d t o a s s ist my mother and many other

      fa m i l i e s i n t h a t situation in terms of processing

      an d u n d e r s t a n d i ng what she could do in terms of

      he l p i n g h e r f a m ily in that situation.

                  W h e n m y father was stationed at Scott Air

      Fo r c e B as e w h e n he came back from deployment, he

      wa s 3 8 0 m i l e s a way.      We were up in St. Joseph,

      Mi s s o u r i a t t h e time.     And he would get off of work

      Fr i d a y n i g h t a n d drive 380 miles one way all night,

      no i n t e r s t a t e , show up Saturday morning, you know,

      wa k e e v e r y b o d y up, raise hell, raise hell all the




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      wa y t h r o u g h t h e weekend, and say good -bye Sunday

      af t e r n o o n a n d d rive 380 miles back down to his

      wo r k , a n d b e t h ere when work started on Monday

      mo r n i n g .

                       T h a t ' s what a lot of family life was like

      du r i n g t h e p e r i od when t he size of the America n

      mi l i t a r y c o m i n g out of World War II had to be

      ma t c h e d b y h o u s ing programs and all these other

      th i n g s t h a t t h e y hadn't really considered with a

      sm a l l e r m i l i t a r y before World War II.

                       W h e n I was a serving Marine, we had a very

      hi g h t e m p o w a r in Vietnam, the war that's still, I

      th i n k , m i s u n d e r stood, a war that for the Marine

      Co r p s g a v e u s t hree times as many combat dead as

      Ko r e a , f i v e t i m es as many combat dead as World War

      I, m o r e t o t a l c asualties, 103,000 killed or

      wo u n d e d , e v e n t han W orld War II.

                       O n a t ypical week in 1969 when I was a

      ri f l e p l a t o o n c ompany commander, there would be

      ub o u t 2 5 0 A m e r i cans killed.     During the Hamburger

      Hi l l p e r i o d t h a t we called the post -Tet '69 pe riod,

      th e y w e r e a v e r a ging more than 400 killed a week.




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                  T h is w a s obviously worse in 1968 during

      th e T e t O f f e n s i ve and this period, but it was a

      hi g h i n t e n s i t y , high casualty war, fought

      pr i n c i p a l l y b y single - term enlistees and single -

      te r m o f f i c e r s a s well.     We did not see the

      co n t i n u o u s r e d e ployments other than wi th the career

      fo r c e t h a t w e s ee today.

                  A n d w e did not have the career force in

      te r m s o f r e t e n t ion that we have today.     I remember

      on e p i e c e o f d a ta when I was on the Secretary of

      th e N a v y s t a f f my last year in the Marine Corps,

      th e r e e n l i s t m e n t rate in th e United States Marine

      Co r p s i n 1 9 7 1 w as 6.6 percent, and the Marine Corps

      wa s h a p p y w i t h that.       That's what they needed.

                  T h e M a rine Corps was happy with that.         We

      ha d a c i t i z e n s oldiery so we did not have the same

      ch a l l e n g e s t h a t we have today with the l arge family

      st r u c t u r e s a n d the need to keep families involved

      in t h e s e p e r i o d s when people are deployed.

                  W h e n I was in the Pentagon in the 1980s,

      th i s t h i r d i t e r ation, we were building this concept

      of t o t a l f o r c e , how we were going to use the Guard




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      an d R e s e r v e s .   I served for three years as

      As s i s t a n t S e c r e tary of Defense for Reserve Affairs,

      wh e r e w e w e r e o bviously on a day -to -day basis

      in v o l v e d i n h o w we would do this?          What this would

      lo o k l i k e w h e n we deployed?        How you configured the

      co m b a t s u p p o r t , combat service support, in you r

      de p l o y m e n t c y c l e, which were heavily Guard and

      Re s e r v e a s o p p o sed to the Active forces?

                       N o o n e was really contemplating at that

      ti m e t h a t w e w o uld see the continuous deployments

      th a t w e h a v e r i ght now, but an interesting pi ece of

      da t a j u m p e d o u t at me when I was Assistant

      Se c r e t a r y o f D e fense.   I asked at one point, what

      pe r c e n t a g e o f t he sergeants E -5 in the Army ar e

      ma r r i e d ?    A n d t he answer --and I said compare t hat

      to 1 9 7 1 - - a n d t h e answer, as I recall, and I'm

      wi t h i n a c o u p l e of percentage points here, was 73

      pe r c e n t o f t h e sergeants E - 5 in 1986 were married

      as o p p o s e d t o a bout 14 percent in 1971.

                       S o y o u can see how we grew this volunteer

      fo r c e b y l o o k i n g for stability, family stability.

      In f a c t , t h e A r my's mantra during this period in




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      th e 1 9 8 0 s w a s " Readiness is Our Number One

      Pr i o r i t y , a n d Q uality of Life is Our Number One

      Re a d i n e s s P r i o r ity," basically saying that if you

      ha v e t h e s t a b l e family environment, your soldiers

      ar e g o i n g t o s t ay in.

                   W e n o w have a situation whe re this entire

      co n c e p t h a s b e e n put to very severe test over now

      ni n e y e a r s , a n d there is very little precedent in

      ou r c o u n t r y ' s h istory for being even able to

      id e n t i f y t h e l e ssons that we can apply for this new

      mo d e l .

                   I n f a c t, I was thinking not long ago ,

      wh e r e c a n w e g o to try to get some direction in

      te r m s o f h o w w e can handle this long - term in terms

      of t h e s t r e s s e s that we're seeing and the emotional

      is s u e s t h a t w e are inevitably going to have to deal

      wi t h , a n d I s t a rted thinking, well, our deployment

      cy c l e i s p r e t t y similar to the British Army at the

      he i g h t o f i t s i mperial rule, and at that point

      ne a r l y a t h i r d of the world's population on a

      qu a r t e r o f t h e globe was subject to the British

      cr o w n .




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                     S h i p s of the Royal Navy, strong merchant

      fl e e t h e l p e d t o sustain this vast empire, but it

      fe l l t o t h e " T o mmies" of Rudyard Kipling's poetry

      to f i g h t i t s w a rs and to maintain its presence

      ov e r s e a s .

                     B u t t h en I started looking at the numbers.

      An d t h e B r i t i s h actually did it in the exact

      re v e r s e w a y t h a t we have done it.        Only six pe rcent

      of t h e e n l i s t e d ranks in the British Army at that

      pe r i o d w e r e m a r ried.   In fact, Gordon Peterson, who

      is m y m i l i t a r y legislative assistant and many of

      yo u k n o w , f o u n d a quote from a British historian

      wh o s a i d :

                     " T h a n k s to the pro fessional volunteer army

      sc a t t e r e d a c r o s s the globe, the Victorians as a

      wh o l e n e v e r f e l t the burdens of world power.        The

      mi d d l e c l a s s e s in their prosperous suburbs were not

      ca l l e d u p o n t o furnish officers to die in China,

      th e G o l d C o a s t or Egypt.      The re spectable lower

      mi d d l e c l a s s e s in their neat red brick streets were

      no t c a l l e d u p o n to furnish non -commissioned

      of f i c e r s o r p r i vates to expire of typhoid, cholera




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      or h e a t s t r o k e in the Sudan, India or South

      Af r i c a . "

                       T h e y c hose one model.     We chose another .

      Ou r m o d e l w a s t o build our volunteer system on the

      ba s i s o f f a m i l y structure and good compensation and

      al l o f t h e e l e m ents that made the military an

      at t r a c t i v e l o n g -term environment for talented

      pe o p l e w h o a l s o wanted to serve their country.

                       S i n c e 9/11 till today, as so many peop le

      in t h i s r o o m k n ow, our operating military has

      ba s i c a l l y b e e n in two alternate universes.        It

      ca n ' t g e t o u t o f one or the other.          Either they're

      de p l o y e d o r t h e y're getting ready to deploy.

                       A n d w i th so many people, if you wat ch, for

      in s t a n c e , m y s o n - in -law, who was 18 years old when

      he e n l i s t e d , h e 's now 24, getting ready to go back

      fo r t h e t h i r d t ime, there's been no, there's been

      no h a p p y a d o l e s cence in between here.        People

      wo r k i n g a l l t h e time.    And the consequences of tha t

      lo n g - t e r m , I t h ink, is something that we have only

      be g u n t o c o m p r e hend.

                       I r e m e mber when General Casey called me




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      ea r l y i n ' 0 7 , t o tell me that the Army brigades

      we r e n o w g o i n g to deploy for 15 months with 12

      mo n t h s a t h o m e .   I basically said to him I can not

      be l i e v e y o u ' r e doing that; I cannot believe you're

      go i n g t o g o d o w n to the level of rotational cycle

      on y o u r d w e l l t ime where people are home less

      am o u n t o f t i m e than when they're deployed, and when

      th e y ' r e h o m e t h ey're getting ready to deploy.       I

      ju s t c a n ' t b e l i eve that you're going to do that.

                     A n d t h at reality shaped my own agenda, my

      le g i s l a t i v e a g e nda and leadership agenda in the

      Se n a t e d u r i n g m y first year in office.    The top

      th r e e l e g i s l a t i ve priorities that I had in the

      ar e a s o f m i l i t a ry and vet erans became to focus on

      th e D w e l l T i m e Amendment, as Admiral Ryan

      me n t i o n e d .   I ' l l explain that in a minute.   And the

      GI B i l l , a n d t h en this landmark Wounded Warrior

      Ac t , w h i c h s o m any of you are now involved in.

                     W e w e r e already seeing the results of the

      we a r a n d t e a r o n our troops in '07 when Senator

      Ch u c k H a g e l , a Vietnam veteran, fellow Vietnam

      ve t e r a n , a n d m y self decided to introduce the Dwell




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      Ti m e A m e n d m e n t , and as, again, most people in this

      ro o m f u l l - w e l l know, the traditional deployment

      cy c l e i n t h e U n ited States military has been two to

      on e .     I f y o u ' r e gone a year, you should have two

      ye a r s b a c k .   I f you're at a six - month sea

      de p l o y m e n t , y o u should have a year back, and,

      ag a i n , a s e v e r y one in this room knows, dwell time

      is n o t d o w n t i m e.

                    P e o p l e tend to think it's, okay, you

      de p l o y f o r a y e ar and you come back for a year,

      we l l , t h a t ' s a pretty good deal, you're off for a

      ye a r .    Y o u ' r e n ever off.        You're training, you're

      br i n g i n g i n n e w people into your unit, you're

      re f u r b i s h i n g , y ou're doing all those sorts of

      th i n g s t h a t w i l l make you full up and ready to go

      wh e n y o u h a v e t o deploy again.

                    I n t h i s situation, this modern situation,

      wi t h t h e e v o l u t ion of the total force concept, our

      Gu a r d a n d R e s e r ve units were affected in a way that

      th e y n e v e r h a d been before and in a way that w e had

      ne v e r a n t i c i p a t ed.    At one point in '05, the Army

      Gu a r d c o n t r i b u t ed nearly half of the combat




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      br i g a d e s t h a t w ere on the ground in Iraq.

                  S o t h e impacts of these multiple

      de p l o y m e n t s w e r e plain enough.   We could see the m.

      Th e d i r e c t i m p a cts we could see.       The long - ter m

      im p a c t s w e c o u l d only begin to envision in a way

      th a t I h a d s o m e very intimate experiences as a

      co u n s e l o n t h e House Veterans Committee dealing

      wi t h t h e i s s u e of Vietnam veterans returning.

                  S o w e introduc ed an amendment that wou ld

      ha v e m a n d a t e d a one -to -one minimum dwell time, and

      we a s k e d p e o p l e , set your politics aside.         This is

      no t a b o u t a n y t h ing about whether you like the Iraq

      Wa r , y o u d o n ' t like the Iraq War, it's our

      re s p o n s i b i l i t y as leaders and ste wards, long - term

      st e w a r d s o f t h e people who have stepped forward to

      se r v e , t o p u t a safety net under our people and

      ju s t s a y y o u c a n't push these people harder than a

      on e - t o - o n e w h e n the goal has always been a two -to -

      on e .

                  N u m b e r of associations endorsed t his, and

      I w o u l d s a y M O A A was one of the first, and it was

      so v a l u a b l e t o us when we were making the case,




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      wh e n w e c o u l d t urn around and say that an

      or g a n i z a t i o n l i ke this really could understand the

      le a d e r s h i p i m p l ications of what we were trying to

      sa y .     I n f a c t , Admiral Ryan wrote us a letter, and

      I' l l q u o t e f r o m it.

                   H e s a i d: "If we're not better stewards of

      ou r t r o o p s a n d their families in the future than

      we ' v e b e e n i n t he recent past, MOAA believes

      st r o n g l y w e w i l l be putting the all volunteer force

      a t u n a c c e p t a b l e military risk."

                   W e v o t ed on this legislation twice.      We

      we r e f i l i b u s t e r ed, which meant we had to get 60

      vo t e s o r m o r e .   We got 56 votes in the Senate

      tw i c e , a m a j o r i ty of the Senate voting to put this

      sa f e t y n e t u n d e r the troops, but not en ough to make

      it l e g i s l a t i v e policy, but we did put a marker

      do w n .

                   A n d t h e strength of that vote, I think,

      so r t o f r e s o u n d ed across the political landscape,

      an d t o d a y o u r m ilitary leadership, my colleagues in

      th e S e n a t e , a r e very aware and talk repeatedly

      ab o u t t h e n e c e s sity to get to a one -to - two




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      de p l o y m e n t d w e l l time.

                     T h e s e cond example was the GI Bill that I

      in t r o d u c e d .   B e fore I even decided to run for

      of f i c e , I h a d b een saying once these deployments

      be g a n t h a t t h e people who have been serving since

      9/ 1 1 s h o u l d h a v e a GI Bill that matches the nature

      of t h e i r s e r v i c e, and again having worked on the

      Ve t e r a n s C o m m i t tee so many years ago and looked at

      th e d i f f e r e n t i terations of the GI Bill that began

      at t h e e n d o f W orld War II, it just seemed to me

      ve r y l o g i c a l t o say that if you're saying this is

      th e n e x t " G r e a t est Generation," maybe we ought to

      gi v e t h e m t h e s ame GI Bill that the Greatest

      Ge n e r a t i o n g o t .

                     T h e y p aid for the tuition, they bought

      th e i r b o o k s , t h ey gave them monthly stipend, and we

      ra n s o m e c o m p a r ative charts on the Montgomery GI

      Bi l l , a n d b a s i c ally if you're talking about the

      mo r e h i g h - e n d u niversities, your Montgomery GI Bill

      wo u l d h i t a b o u t 14 percent of what it cost to go to

      on e o f t h o s e u n iversities today as opposed to 100

      pe r c e n t w h e n p e ople came back from World War I I.




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                  I n f a c t-- I call it the "game winner

      ch a r t " - -I w a s t rying to educate my fellow sena tors

      ab o u t t h e n e e d for a better GI Bill.         I asked my

      st a f f , a l l r i g h t, who are our World War II veterans

      an d w h e r e d i d t hey go to school a fter World War II?

      We h a d S e n a t o r John Warner, who later joined as a

      ve r y s t r o n g c o s ponsor, had gone to Washington and

      Le e U n i v e r s i t y and UVA Law School; Senator Frank

      La u t e n b e r g , w h o was an original cosponsor, had gone

      to C o l u m b i a ; S e nator Stevens, who ne ver joined as a

      co s p o n s o r , h a d gone to Harvard; and Senator Inouye

      ha d g o n e t o G W Law School; Senator Akaka had gone

      to t h e U n i v e r s i ty of Hawaii.

                  S o t h e se people had been able to go to

      go o d s c h o o l s , g et a full boat.       I put the chart up

      on t h e S e n a t e f loor , and I put my numbers on t here.

      Un c l e S a m p a i d for me to go to school, and I will

      be f o r e v e r g r a t eful.   And a big piece of why I

      wa n t e d t o d o t h is, and it's a piece that I would

      as k a l l o f y o u to think really hard about when

      we ' r e l o o k i n g a t solutions to the problems tha t we

      fa c e , i s t h a t w e tend to think in this country that




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      be c a u s e w e h a v e an all volunteer force, we have an

      al l c a r e e r f o r c e, and we don't.

                  I ' m a n old manpower guy.           I used to do the

      ma n p o w e r s t u f f a lot in the Pentagon.       It took me

      ab o u t a y e a r t o get the data, but the numbers that

      we s e e a r e t h a t about, depending on economic

      fl u c t u a t i o n s , a bout 75 percent of the people who

      en l i s t i n t h e A rmy and about 70 percent of the

      pe o p l e w h o e n l i st in the Marine Corps leave the

      se r v i c e b y t h e end of their first enlistment.

                  T h a t ' s healthy for the country.         This is a

      ci t i z e n s o l d i e r concept.   There's no greater

      am b a s s a d o r f o r the United States military than a

      ve t e r a n w h o i s proud of his and her service.         But

      th e s e p e o p l e w e re falling through the cracks .

      We ' l l s i t o n t h e Armed Services Committee, and over

      an d o v e r a g a i n , we would hear programs designed for

      th e r e t e n t i o n o f the military, taking care of the

      ca r e e r f o r c e , a nd all those things were good, but

      no o n e w a s c o n s tructively addressing this issue o f

      wh a t d o y o u d o with these people who have gone out,

      do n e a c o u p l e o f pumps, and have gone back home and




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      ar e t r y i n g t o f it back into society?

                       H o w d o we say clearly to those communities

      ou t t h e r e h o w m uch we value what they have done?

      Th i s i s t h e c l e ares t way.      When someone can fi nish

      an e n l i s t m e n t a nd go home and say you know

      so m e t h i n g , I s e rved a hitch in the United States

      mi l i t a r y a n d , g uess what, I got a full boat to

      co l l e g e .

                       I t t o o k us awhile to make that point.    We

      wo r k e d v e r y h a r d to get bipartis an support on this

      bi l l , a n d i n t h e end, we had nearly 60 Senators and

      mo r e t h a n 3 0 0 m embers of the House of

      Re p r e s e n t a t i v e s who joined as cosponsors.

                       I t w a s signed into law in '08.    As of

      to d a y , w e ' v e h a d more than 600,000 post - 9/11

      ve t e r a n s s i g n u p for this, and more than 350,0 00 of

      th e m a r e n o w r e ceiving benefits under the GI Bill,

      an d , b o y , t h e r e was not a happier day in my life

      th a t w h e n t h a t bill passed and became law, and

      we ' r e g o i n g t o give these people a chance at a

      fi r s t c l a s s f u t ure, which they have earned in a

      ve r y u n i q u e w a y .




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                     T h e t h ird legislative effort of '07

      re l a t e s d i r e c t l y to what you're doing here today,

      an d t h a t ' s t o a ffirm the principle of loyalty down

      an d s t e w a r d s h i p when it comes to our wounded

      wa r r i o r s a n d t h ose who are going to nee d long -term

      as s i s t a n c e i n t erms of reassimilating in all

      me d i c a l w a y s i n to our society.

                     T h i s c oncept, this notion, of long - term

      co m m i t m e n t t o t he people who serve guides my work

      as t h e C h a i r m a n of the Armed Services Personnel

      Su b c o m m i t t e e , a nd I have a gr eat working

      re l a t i o n s h i p w i th Senator Graham, who is the

      Su b c o m m i t t e e ' s Ranking Republican, and we are

      co n s t a n t l y l o o k ing for ways to improve the quality

      of l i f e f o r a l l of our servicemembers and their

      fa m i l i e s .

                     A b i g part of that, coming up into the

      fu t u r e , i s g o i n g to be addressing the issues of

      he a l t h c a r e , a c ross the board health care, the

      lo n g - t e r m c o m m i tment we have to all people who

      se r v e , t o a d d r e ss their health care issues even

      af t e r r e t i r e m e n t.




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                 I p e r s onally watched how much that has

      be n e f i t t e d m y m other after my father's passing, and

      qu i t e f r a n k l y I don't think that she would have

      be e n a b l e t o r e ceive the quality of care that she

      re c e i v e s n o w i n a nursing home if it hadn't been

      fo r t h e T R I C A R E programs.

                 S o l e t me just say, in summary, that

      lo o k i n g b a c k o n these experiences of the past four

      ye a r s a n d a s a member of the United States Senate,

      I' v e b e e n v e r y impressed with the dimensions of the

      tr a n s f o r m a t i o n that has taken place and the energy

      of p e o p l e f r o m across the government spectrum, the

      po l i t i c a l s p e c t rum, and our citizenry writ large in

      te r m s o f w a n t i n g to come together and find the

      ri g h t s o r t s o f ways to show that we value military

      se r v i c e a n d t o address the special needs of those

      wh o s t e p p e d f o r ward, went into harm's way and have

      ne e d s t ha t w e w ill have to be addressing.

                 T h e u n precedented support in recent years

      in t e r m s o f r e s earch and treatment on issues like

      TB I , i t ' s v e r y unique, as you all know, to this

      pr e s e n t c h a l l e n ge that we have faced overseas, and




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      PT S D w h i c h h a s come a long way since we first did

      th e p i o n e e r i n g research on it back in the late

      19 7 0 s w h e n I w a s working on the Veterans Committee.

                 I n c o n trast with my own experiences as a

      ki d l i v i n g o f f - base at a time when you defined

      qu a l i t y o f l i f e as whether you're able to live w ith

      yo u r d a d o r n o t , today's DoD budgets and military

      de p a r t m e n t p r o g rams recognize how vital family

      su p p o r t i s a s a n enduring readiness issue, not

      si m p l y a n i s s u e of taking care of families, but how

      it d i r e c t l y a f f ects the readiness of our forces,

      an d w e ' v e w i t n e ssed an extraordinary outpouring of

      pr i v a t e s u p p o r t , as people in this room know as

      we l l .

                 S o I ' v e said many times and many places

      th a t t h e U n i t e d States military is a unique

      in s t i t u t i o n i n our country, and those of us

      ga t h e r e d h e r e t oday have a sp ecial opportunity to

      ma k e a d i f f e r e n ce in assisting those who wear the

      un i f o r m s a n d a l so their families.

                 T h e y h ave answered every call.      They have

      pe r f o r m e d e v e r y task that we have asked them.      They




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      ha v e c o m p l e t e d every mission that has been assigned

      to t h e m , a n d w e can do no less than to stand by

      th e m , g u i d e d b y the notion that this is a

      re s p o n s i b i l i t y that we accepted, some of us many

      ye a r s a g o , t h a t lasts for the rest of our lives.

                   S o , a g ain, I would thank the Naval

      In s t i t u t e a n d M OAA for sponsoring th is event a nd

      fo r i n v i t i n g m e to participate, and I wish you best

      in y o u r c o n f e r e nce.     Thank you very much.

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   V A D M R YAN:       Senator Webb is on a tight

      sc h e d u l e , b u t i f there are maybe one or two brief

      qu e s t i o n s t h a t anyone would like to ask, are t here

      an y q u e s t i o n s o ut there?

                   M A J O R CLARK:        I have one.

                   V A D M R YAN:       Okay.     Go ahead, sir.

                   M A J O R CLARK:        Yes, sir.         You know at the

      re l e a s e o f t h e recent 71 Foxtrot Advantage book on

      ap p l y i n g r e s e a r ch psychology in the Army, the

      ed i t o r w a s a s k e d a simila r question about redu cing

      st r e s s o n t h e f orce, and he stated very simply

      so m e t h i n g s i m i l ar to what you said, sir, which is




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      we ' v e g o t t o r e duce the stress by simply reducing

      th e d e m a n d , m e a ning less deployments, less troops

      ba s i c a l l y l e a v i ng the country.

                      B u t t h e obvious question, which we can't

      se e m t o c o m e t o a good answer on, is how do we do

      th i s w h e n t h e m ission still has to be completed and

      we ' v e g o t t h i s pressure to reduce the budgetary

      re q u i r e m e n t s ?

                      S E N A T O R WEBB:    Well, I'm tempted but I'm

      no t g o i n g t o g e t into a discussion about my own

      pe r s o n a l v i e w s regarding how we should be

      ad d r e s s i n g t h e threat that faces our country.

                      W e c a n set that aside, but let me say, and

      I s a i d t h i s i n '07, that we have reached a point

      no w i n o u r o p e r ational environment wh ere the

      av a i l a b i l i t y o f our troops should be the driving

      fo r c e i n t e r m s of the articulation of our

      op e r a t i o n a l s t r ategy.

                      I d o n ' t think that the situations that we

      se e r i g h t n o w s hould in any way dictate what we did

      wi t h o u r m i l i t a ry when we were down to a .75 dwell

      ti m e r a t i o .         I just personally don't see that.   I




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      do n ' t s e e t h a t that was necessary then.            I don't

      se e t h a t i t ' s n ecessary now.

                     I ' v e n ever met a general who didn't want

      mo r e t r o o p s .   T here are ways to address the issues

      of i n t e r n a t i o n a l terrori sm that can be done wi th

      th e m a n p o w e r t h at we have available and not drop

      ou r d w e l l t i m e .

                     I ' m t e mpted to say more, but let's just

      le a v e i t a t t h a t for the moment.            Message to

      fo l l o w .   A r e t h ere any other?

                     M R . P A RKER:   Thank you, Senator.

                     M y n a m e is Mi chael Parker.        Over the last

      co u p l e o f y e a r s , Congress has passed some very good

      pr o v i s i o n s t o p rotect the equities of wounded

      wa r r i o r s g o i n g through the Disability Evaluation

      Sy s t e m .   H o w e v e r, many of those provisions are

      be i n g f l a t l y i g nored by DoD.

                     I wa s w ondering what you could do as your

      ro l e o f t h e C h a irman of the Personnel Subcommittee

      to e n s u r e p r o p e r monitoring and enforcement of

      th e s e p r o v i s i o n s to ensure these wounded warriors

      ge t e v e r y t h i n g that's due to them?




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                       S E N A T O R WEBB:    You've raised an

      i n t e r e s t i n g i s s ue with respect to how the Congress

      op e r a t e s w r i t l arge right now.             I know Gary Leeling

      is h e r e s o m e w h e re -- who is our principal staffe r on

      th e s u b c o m m i t t e e -- but one of the great surprises to

      me c o m i n g t o t h e Congress as a United States

      Se n a t o r i s h o w little oversight, rigorous

      ov e r s i g h t , w a s being done by the Congress, as

      co m p a r e d t o w h e n I was a Committee Counsel, 1977 to

      '8 1 , o r a s c o m p ared to when I was in the Pentagon,

      19 8 4 t o ' 8 8 , w h en we were subject to some pretty

      ri g o r o u s o v e r s i ght.

                       P a r t o f this is the imbalance that

      oc c u r r e d a f t e r 9/11 between the executive branch

      an d t h e l e g i s l a tive branch where so much power went

      ov e r i n t o t h e e xecutive branch.                  Everyone was

      wo r r i e d .     W e w e re in a state of national crisis,

      an d t h e e x e c u t i ve branch b asically stonewalled the

      Co n g r e s s , a n d t his is not a political comment about

      th e B u s h a d m i n i stration.          I've made the same

      co m m e n t a b o u t t he Obama administration when it

      co m e s t o p a r t i c ularly environmental issues with




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      tu r n i n g l o o s e t he EPA.

                    S o o n e of my go als in the Senate has b een

      to r e b a l a n c e t h e relationship between the executive

      br a n c h a n d t h e legislative branch, and a big part

      of t h a t i s o v e r sight.

                    T h e s e cond piece in terms of oversight

      ri g h t n o w i s , I think, at least I can observe here,

      th a t a g o o d b i t of oversight seems to be the

      Co n g r e s s j u s t s aying write us a report, give us a

      re p o r t , g i v e t h is report, give that report, and so

      th e r e i s s o m u c h paperwork going on.      It's not

      re a l l y o v e r s i g h t in the best sense of the word.

                    B u t i f programs are not b eing implemen ted

      an d i f w e ' r e n o t aware of the programs you're

      ta l k i n g a b o u t , we should be, and we're very open to

      he a r i n g t h o s e s orts of comments, and we've been

      pr e t t y r i g o r o u s on my staff in terms of developing

      th e r i g h t p r o t o types so that we can get ov ersight

      go i n g a g a i n .

                    L e t m e give you a very quick example, and

      my t i m e i s l i m i ted here, but just so you'll

      un d e r s t a n d t h e approach that we've been taking from




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      ou r o f f i c e .   I n '07, summer of '07, I saw an

      ar t i c l e i n t h e Wall Street Journal that said San

      Di e g o- - I b e l i e v e it was San Diego County, was

      pr o t e s t i n g t h e construction of a facility that

      Bl a c k w a t e r w a s going to build in order to provide

      tr a i n i n g f o r A c tive Duty Naval personnel to teach

      th e m h o w t o f i g ht compartment by compartment on

      bo a r d o n a s h i p i n case terrorists got on their

      sh i p o r w h a t e v e r.

                    A n d t h ree bells immediately went off in my

      br a i n .   T h e f i r st was why is a private contractor

      go i n g t o b e t e a ching Active Duty Naval personnel

      ho w t o d o t h e i r job?       It would be like Blackwater

      te a c h i n g m e h o w to patrol when I was going thr ough

      Ba s i c S c h o o l i n Quantico.

                    T h e s e cond bell that went off in my brain

      wa s h o w d i d t h i s get into, if it's in a budget, how

      di d t h e D e p a r t m ent of the Navy approve this and San

      Di e g o w a s , y o u know, fighting against it?

                    A n d t h e third was did we approve it?     Did

      th e U n i t e d S t a t es Congress approve this?    I hadn't

      se e n a n y p i e c e of paper that authorized, and I




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      wo u l d h a v e s e e n -- if a $60 million program had gone

      th r o u g h t h e A r m ed Services Committee, I would have

      th o u g h t t h a t I wo uld have seen it.

                    S o I s ent a letter to Secretary Gates, and

      I j u s t s a i d i s there a specific authorization or

      ap p r o p r i a t i o n t hat has allowed this structure to

      mo v e f o r w a r d , t his program to move forward?            And

      af t e r a l o t o f back and forth, the answer was t he

      mo n e y f o r t h i s program was taken out of a block

      fu n d , u n d e s i g n a ted, that went through the

      Ap p r o p r i a t i o n s Committee under O&M, Operation and

      Ma i n t e n a n c e b u d get.

                    S o a b lock of money went over to DoD.              The

      Na v y l o o k e d a t it and said "needs of the service ."

      Th e y t o o k t h a t money out, totally on their own, and

      th e n t h a t p r o g r am was approved below the level even

      of t h e S e c r e t a r y of the Navy.            We discovered that

      th e p r o g r a m w a s approved by one echelon above a

      pr o g r a m m a n a g e r , and that I think the money had to

      be i n e x c e s s o f about 68, $70 million before it

      ev e n g o t r e v i e w ed at the SECNAV level.            So you can

      se e h o w o u t o f control these things had gotten in a




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      po s t - 9 / 1 1 e n v i r onment.

                   A n d w e have used that to tighten up the

      ma n a g e m e n t m o d e l, to do our part to tight en up the

      ma n a g e m e n t m o d e l over in DoD, but this is a classic

      ex a m p l e o f h o w the executive branch just sort of

      ra n a w a y f r o m p roper congressional oversight.

                   I n t h e issue which you're mentioning,

      wh i c h i s a r e t h ey going to implement programs, we

      do w h a t w e c a n .    We need to hear information, types

      of t h i n g s y o u ' r e talking about, but we are on it if

      we g e t t h e i n f o rmation.

                   I ' m g o ing to have to return to the Hill

      he r e , b u t I t h a nk you very much for what you all

      ar e d o i n g , a n d it's been a pleasure to be with you.

                   T h a n k you.

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   V A D M R YAN:      Thank you, Senator Webb, for

      yo u r i n s p i r i n g talk and your leadership.             God

      bl e s s .

                   M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:             Hi.   Don't

      ev e r y b o d y m o v e at once.     We'll have a break after

      th e f i r s t p a n e l so sit tightly.             What I wan t t o do




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      fi r s t i s I ' d l i ke to introduce some folks who are

      he l p i n g u s t o m ake this possible, and chief among

      th e m i s t h e e x e cutive sponsor of Defense Forum

      Wa s h i n g t o n , U S A A of San Antonio, Texas, and they

      ar e r e p r e s e n t e d here today by Retired Major General

      Ja s o n K a m i y a , a nd Jason must have just wandered out

      th e d o o r s o h e ' s missing his 15 seconds of fame.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:           But we are

      gr a t e f u l t o U S A A, and there's a whole host of them

      si t t i n g o v e r h e re, and please join me in thanking

      th e m f o r w h a t t hey're doing.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:           I'll get Jason

      la t e r .    D o n ' t w orry.

                     I ' d a l so like to recognize three other

      en t i t i e s t h a t h ave been major corporate sponsors

      fo r u s : L o c k h e e d Martin Corporation; EADS North

      Am e r i c a ; a n d t h e Humana Military Healthcare.             Would

      th e i r r e p r e s e n t atives please stand and be

      re c o g n i z e d ?   T h ank you all so much for what you do.

                     [ A p p l a use.]




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                       M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            And now on cue

      ou r p a n e l i s t s a re arriving.           Our first panel is

      "N a v i g a t i n g R e c overy: A re We Meeting Needs and

      Ex p e c t a t i o n s ? "

                       L e a d i n g the panel is John R. Campbell, who

      is t h e D e p u t y U nder Secretary of Defense for

      Wo u n d e d W a r r i o r Care and Transition Policy.             He's

      re s p o n s i b l e f o r ensuring that wounded, ill, injured

      an d t r a n s i t i o n i ng servicem embers receive high

      qu a l i t y s e r v i c e s and, most importantly, as they

      mo v e f o r w a r d , e xperience a seamless transition to

      th e n e x t c h a p t e r in their lives, as veterans in the

      ci v i l i a n c o m m u n ity.

                       J o h n h as held a variety of positions in

      th e p r i v a t e s e c tor, and a mong them he's the fo under

      an d C E O o f M y V e twork.          It's an online community

      th a t c o n n e c t s s ervicemen and women to job

      op p o r t u n i t i e s a nd to one another for mutual

      su p p o r t .

                       J o h n h imself is a wounded veteran is

      Vi e t n a m , s e r v e d in the United States Marine Cor ps,

      pl a t o o n c o m m a n d er, much like Senator Webb, and is




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      th e r e c i p i e n t o f two Purple Hearts.

                   J o h n , the floor is yours, and the panel is

      yo u r s .   T h a n k y ou for being with us.

                   M R . C A MPBELL:     Thank you very much.

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   M R . C A MPBELL:     Well, good morning.    What

      I' d l i k e t o d o right now is I'd like to talk a

      li t t l e b i t a b o u t expectations this morning.     We

      do n ' t h a v e m u c h time, and I'd like to explain that

      wh a t I ' m h o p i n g from this panel, well, you're going

      to h e a r s o m e g r eat individuals who have some

      pa r t i c u l a r p o i n ts of view on a number of the issues

      ar o u n d n a v i g a t i ng recovery, but one of the things

      th a t w e ' r e p r o b ably not going to do is we're not

      go i n g t o c o m e o ut of here with lots of solutions.

                   I t h i n k the idea for these kinds of

      ex c h a n g e s a r e a n opportu nity for you to hear p oints

      of v i e w s o f i n d ividuals who have been there, and

      th e n f o r y o u t o think about what really resonates,

      an d t h e n t o c o n tinue the dialogue when you leave

      wi t h t h e g r e a t hope that you will, we will find

      so l u t i o n s , a n d you will be part of those solutions -




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      - y o u r t h o u g h t p rocess.

                     O n e o f the -- I got a personal bias here.

      Wh e n I l e f t t h e Marine Corps, 1970, I didn't really

      ha v e a p r o b l e m getting a job, which is not the case

      to d a y , a n d t h e reason was that most of the people

      th a t r a n t h e o r ga nizations that I interviewed were

      ve t e r a n s .   T h e y were Korean or World War II vets.

                     A n d i f I think about the young men and

      wo m e n w h o a r e s erving our country today, the skill

      se t s t h a t t h e y have are so beyond, with all due

      re s p e c t t o S e n a tor Webb, with wha t Senator Webb and

      I c a m e o u t w i t h , that to me it's a crime that these

      yo u n g m e n a n d w omen are not picked up and are not

      gi v e n t h e o p p o r tunities to show what they can do

      be c a u s e i t ' s m o re than just isn't it too bad?        It's

      mo r e t h a n j u s t don't they deserve it?

                     I t ' s m ore about competition, and if we

      ex p e c t t o c o m p e te globally around the world, which

      we ' r e g o i n g t o have to do, we've got to use every

      as s e t w e ' v e g o t , and these are our greatest assets.

                     S o , h o pefully, no speeches.     We're

      ho p e f u l l y n o t g oing to reach some consensus.     I




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      ho p e t h e r e ' s s o me differing points of view.       I

      th i n k t h e , I g u ess what I'd like to do is to

      in t r o d u c e t h e p anel, and I'd ask them to maybe

      st i c k t o t w o m i nutes of their own introductions,

      bu t G e n e r a l B u n ting, Tod Bunting, Kansas Ar my and

      Ai r F o r c e N a t i o nal Guard, who has some specific

      vi e w s o n t h e c h allenges with what he refers to as

      th e " t y r a n n y o f distance," which I know he'll be

      in t e r e s t e d i n t elling you about.

                  A n d h e 's done interesting work with the

      Is r a e l i A r m y a s he's pursued this interest of

      ta k i n g c a r e o f those that don't live on bases,

      th e y ' r e i n t h e Guard and Reserve, and they have

      th e i r o w n c h a l l enges.

                  S o , G e neral Bunting.

                  M A J G E N BUNTING:       Good morning.

      Ap p r e c i a t e a n o pportunity to be here and a special

      th a n k s t o J e s s Ramirez from MOAA who cornered me a

      fe w m o n t h s t o b e here.

                  B r i e f l y, I will tell you that the

      ch a l l e n g e w h e n you talk about the tyranny of

      di s t a n c e- - I ' m a n Adjutant General.      We have 80,000




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      sq u a r e m i l e s o f territory in Kansas, 8,000 soldiers

      an d a i r m e n , l o t s of Reservists there as well, and

      th e c h a l l e n g e f or us is they don't always live in

      cl o s e p r o x i m i t y to a Military Treatment Facility or

      to a V A .

                   S o t h e challenge for us in the Reserve

      co m p o n e n t i s t o make sure everybody understands

      th a t , a n d t h a t we come up with solutions that work

      fo r o u r s o l d i e r s and airmen and Marines and Coast

      Gu a r d s m e n t h a t return back to somewhere, not

      ne c e s s a r i l y i n s ide the confines of a fort or an air

      ba s e .

                   W h a t w e did in Kansas is we also -- my

      ba t t l e b u d d y , m y command Sergean t Major, and I --

      lo o k e d u p d u r i n g the stress of this -- understanding

      al l t h e g r e a t p rograms that we have in place and

      ha v e c o m e a l o n g way.      I was talking to Mike Hayden

      in t h e b a c k .   W e didn't even used to know what a

      fa m i l y p r o g r a m was when I joined 32 ye ars ago.

      No w , w e h a v e Y e llow Ribbon and family life

      co n s u l t a n t s a n d director of psychological health,

      an d w e s h o u l d h ave.     But we thought we didn't




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      ne c e s s a r i l y d o enough on the front end.

                    S o w h a t I think I primarily bring here is

      we ' v e e s t a b l i s h ed a resi liency center, and we' re

      tr y i n g t o d o s o mething to prepare our families and

      ou r w a r r i o r s i n advance for what they're going to

      se e .     M y S e r g e a nt Major was a Marine in Vietnam.

      Th e S e r g e a n t M a jor and I were talking about, so he

      ca m e u p w i t h t h e name of our program.              It's ca lled

      Fl a s h F o r w a r d .   And I'll be glad to talk more about

      th a t .

                    A n d t h e whole idea of Flash Forward is

      li f e i s n o t a l w ays fair.        Things are going to

      ha p p e n s o l e t ' s prepare you and your families in

      ad v a n c e f o r t h e unfair things in life tha t are

      go i n g t o h a p p e n , and I have some details on that.

                    W e w o r k with everyone.             I have trained

      wi t h t h e I s r a e l is, go back to Israel in October to

      se e t h e i r p e r s p ective.     We work with the Walter

      Re e d I n s t i t u t e of Research so we have reached out,

      an d s o w h e n I h eard about this summit, wanted to be

      he r e , b e c a u s e a nybody who is in warrior care, I

      wa n t t o h e a r a b out it and see if we can




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      pa r t i c i p a t e .

                     T h e u n ique part of the Guard and Reserve

      is j u s t a l s o u n derstanding -- and I know we're going

      to t a l k a b o u t t he Di sability Evaluation System --all

      of t h e s e a c r o n y ms.

                     O u r w a rriors are not experts in that.           We

      go t M a r i n e s t h a t know how to be a Marine.          We got

      so l d i e r s w h o k n ow how to be soldiers, but they

      do n ' t n e c e s s a r i ly know how to navigate through this

      ma z e o f s y s t e m s designed to help them so I'm h ere

      al s o t o a d v o c a t e to make sure you understand and

      ma k e t h a t s y s t e m as simple as possible and as

      co m p r e h e n s i v e a s possible so that you don't expect

      so m e o n e w h o ' s a warrior in one thing to be an

      ex p e r t i n a n o t h er.

                     T h e b e st thing we need to do is understand

      th e i r d i s t a n c e from the treatment and make sure

      th a t w e u n d e r s t and that we need to put things in

      pl a c e t h a t a c t u ally work for them.          That's the

      bo t t o m l i n e .     P leased to be here.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:     The next panelist is

      Se r g e a n t M a j o r Ploskonka.       His bio says he was a




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      bo r n a M a r i n e .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      So that kind of tells you

      he ' s h a r d c o r e .     He's had two deployments in Iraq.

      He ' s n o w t h e S e rgeant Major of the Wounded Warrior

      Re g i m e n t a t Q u a ntico.      And he says tha t the job he

      ha s n o w i s t h e most satisfying he's had in 25 years

      in t h e M a r i n e C orps.

                     S o , S e rgeant Major.

                     S g t M A J PLOSKONKA:       Good morning, ladies

      an d g e n t l e m e n .     First, I'd like to thank the Naval

      In s t i t u t e a n d t he Military Officers of America

      As s o c i a t i o n h e r e for sponsoring this event today.

                     I a p p r eciate the opportunity to represent

      th e M a r i n e C o r p s and to contribute as a panel

      me m b e r h e r e a s we discuss the needs of our wounded,

      il l a n d i n j u r e d Marines and brethren throughout the

      Un i t e d S t a t e s .

                     B e f o r e we start, I would like to say on

      be h a l f o f t h e M arine Corps that our deep

      ap p r e c i a t i o n g o es out to the wounded warriors and

      th e i r f a m i l i e s .    We know the hardships and the




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      ch a l l e n g e s t h a t they're all facing at this point,

      an d I w a n t t h e m to be assured that the Marine Corps

      is s t r i v i n g e v e ryday to provide the programs and

      th e s u p p o r t t h a t they need for a complete recovery,

      an d t h a t f o c u s is on four main pillars, which is

      bo d y , m i n d , s p i rit and family.

                    W e h a v e leadership that is working

      tr e m e n d o u s l y t o provi de the programs and the

      re s o u r c e s n e c e s sary for them to navigate their

      re c o v e r y , a n d I tell them that they're in good

      ha n d s , a n d w i t h that, I'd like to pass it on to the

      ne x t p a n e l i s t .

                    M R . C A MPBELL:   Thank you very much.

                    J e a n L angbein is a clinical psych ologi st,

      so c i a l w o r k e r , and actually has spent 18 years

      wo r k i n g a t t h e VA Hospital in Pittsburgh and also

      in W a s h i n g t o n , D.C., and an expert in polytrauma.

                    Jean.

                    M S . L A NGBEIN:   Well, thank you very much.

                    I c e r t ainly appreciate the privilege to be

      on a p a n e l l i k e this and to be one of many

      re p r e s e n t a t i v e s from the VA facilities, but I also




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      ap p r e c i a t e t h e privilege that I have of working

      wi t h a l l v e t e r a ns and, most importantly, with the

      re c e n t l y r e t u r n ing combat veterans, and I really do

      co n s i d e r i t a p ri vilege to serve them.

                     O v e r m y 18 years, and particularly in the

      pa s t s i x y e a r s , I have seen significant changes in

      th e w h o l e V A s y stem of care.             There's been

      de v e l o p m e n t o f brand new programs to address the

      re t u r n i n g c o m b a t needs and as well as expansion of

      ex i s t i n g p r o g r a ms.

                     W e h a v e currently 33 liaisons at 18

      Mi l i t a r y T r e a t m ent Facilities that are imbedded

      ri g h t a t t h e A c tive Duty service level to work with

      th e n e w l y i n j u r ed returning combat veterans, and

      th e i r r o l e i s t o educate and help coordinate th e

      ca r e t h a t t h a t individual and the family is going

      to n e e d , a n d t h at may involve transferring them to

      a V A f a c i l i t y f or care, such as the polytrauma

      re h a b c e n t e r s t hat we have across the country.

                     I t m a y involve them transferring care to a

      co m m u n i t y .   S o I've seen a lot of increase in the

      co n n e c t i o n t h a t DoD has with VA in providing care




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      st i l l t o A c t i v e Duty servicemembers and then

      he l p i n g t h e m c o ordinate and transition into the

      co m m u n i t y .

                     A t e a c h VA facility we have OEF/OIF

      pr o g r a m m a n a g e r s, case manager s and transition

      pa t i e n t a d v o c a t es as part of care management teams

      to r e a l l y w o r k specifically with those who are

      id e n t i f i e d a s s everely ill and injured but really

      to a s s i s t a l l n ewly returning combat veterans as

      we l l a s r e g u l a r separating military and to hel p

      th e m t o g e t i n t o the VA system to make them aware

      of w h a t t h e y ' r e eligible for, all the benefits and

      se r v i c e s t h a t a re out there for them, and really to

      he l p t h e m a c c e s s that and use that to their full

      ad v a n t a g e .

                     T h e r e ' s been tremendous outreach tha t we

      do .     W e g o o u t to Yellow Ribbon events, post -

      de p l o y m e n t h e a l th reassessments, IRR musters,

      de m o b i l i z a t i o n s , welcome home celebrations, all in

      an a t t e m p t t o r eally try and get the word out

      th e r e , a n d w e r ecognize that it's important for the

      ve t e r a n t o k n o w that information, but also for the




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      fa m i l y m e m b e r s to know that because we realize the

      im p o r t a n t r o l e the families have played in

      su p p o r t i n g t h a t person while they've been deployed

      an d a l s o s u p p o r ting them when they come home and

      he l p i n g w i t h t h e trans ition as well.

                     W e h a v e Federal Recovery Coordinators that

      wo r k w i t h t h e m ost severely ill and injured and try

      an d a s s u r e t h a t their care can be coordinated,

      wh e t h e r i t ' s a t a VA facility, whether it's with,

      st i l l w i t h a D o D facility or even in the communi ty

      it s e l f .

                     A n d I also see a big change as far as the

      st e p s t h a t w e t ake as far as identifying and

      sc r e e n i n g i n d i v iduals so it's not a matter of

      wa i t i n g f o r s o m ebody to come to us and saying "I'm

      ha v i n g a p r o b l e m with this," but to screen for

      co n d i t i o n s s u c h as Post Traumatic Stress, TBI,

      de p r e s s i o n , s u b stance abuse, imbedded fragments, to

      tr y a n d i d e n t i f y issues early on before they become

      pr o b l e m s a n d t o refer them for further evaluation

      to s e e k c a r e .

                     S o p a r ticularly in the past six years, I




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      ha v e s e e n s i g n i ficant changes in addressing the

      re t u r n i n g c o m b a t veterans' needs.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      Thanks, Jean.

                     A r m y S taff Sergeant Eggleston, Charles

      Eg g l e s t o n , U . S . Army (Ret.), combat hero, Bronze

      St a r , P u r p l e H e art.     I've encouraged Charles to

      sp e a k o u t , g i v e us his views on certain issues that

      ar e i m p o r t a n t t o him.      He's also a successful

      bu s i n e s s m a n .

                     A n d C h arles.

                     S S G E G GLESTON:       First of all, I want to

      th a n k M O A A f o r inviting me to this forum just to

      sh i n e a l i t t l e glimmer and a little light on the

      pr o b l e m s t h a t w e have systemic through the DoD and

      th e V A s y s t e m , more on the DoD than the VA side for

      me , s u c h a s j u s t, you know, about being a seriously

      in j u r e d s o l d i e r and going through my trials and

      tr i b u l a t i o n s , t hree -and - a-half years in the

      ho s p i t a l a t W a l ter R eed.

                     B y t h e time I came out, the seamless

      tr a n s i t i o n w a s n 't too seamless.            You know, you get

      dr o p p e d f o r a b o ut two or three months, and then you




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      ha v e t o b a s i c a l ly manage on your own and try to

      fi g u r e o u t h o w do you do this thing.            So by trial

      an d e r r o r , b y f ire underneath the fire, I help

      ot h e r w o u n d e d w arriors, and I've been doing that

      si n c e t h e n , y o u know.

                      A s I s peak, as I preach to all, is you

      ne e d t o h a v e e m pathy and passion and just regular

      co m m o n s e n s e .     Let's stop this big thing on the

      ma t r i x .     Y o u k n ow, you don't need to see a tem plate

      on h o w t o d o t h ings right.            You just need to do it

      fr o m t h e h e a r t .     We need to move those guys out of

      th e s y s t e m w h o don't do things from the heart and

      ge t s o m e g u y s i n like myself and some of my other

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r brothers and sisters who got

      wo u n d e d s e r v i n g their country, who are patriotic

      be c a u s e w e d o t his, and we'd do it again.

                      U n d e r s tand that.    We do this and we'd do

      it a g a i n .     A n d we have no regrets.          I have no

      re g r e t s f o r g e t ting injured.         I have regrets I lost

      fr i e n d s i n t h e battle, but I have no regrets that I

      ca m e b a c k a n i n jured wounded warrior.            Understand

      th a t .       W e d o n ' t hold a grudge.




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                     T h e o n ly thing we wanted is a job or

      an y t h i n g- - b e c a u se I was a Reservist.       Because I was

      in t h e h o s p i t a l and I was in the war so long, my

      jo b b a s i c a l l y s aid, hey, we don't have to follow

      th e r e g u l a t i o n s .    The regulations stated two years,

      an d I w a s i n t h e hospital three - and -a -half so that

      th r e w m y r e g u l a tion right out the door, and this

      wa s a m a j o r c o n tractor to the U. S. government.

                     W e n e e d to start holding these guys to a

      di f f e r e n t t o n e .     If you're a contractor to the

      fe d e r a l g o v e r n m ent, and you have a wounded warrior

      th a t w a n t s a j o b or you have a servicemember who

      ca m e b a c k f r o m fighting for his country -- less than

      tw o p e r c e n t o f the U.S. population --you give t hese

      gu y s a j o b .

                     S o t h a t's why I went out and said, you

      kn o w s o m e t h i n g , since I can't get a job, I'll start

      my o w n c o m p a n y , and I'll recruit wounded warriors

      an d v e t e r a n s , a nd I'll train them up how to do the

      IT f i e l d , a n d I 'll seek government contracts, which

      ar e v e r y h a r d , and I'm certified through the

      fe d e r a l g o v e r n m ent to receive veteran preference.




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                       I ' m 1 0 0 percent veteran, 100 percent

      di s a b l e d v e t e r a n, and I still walk that leap of

      fa i t h , t r y i n g t o get t hat contract, trying to bring

      aw a r e n e s s t o t h e general public, and still living

      wi t h t h e n e t w o r ks and the, I guess the tremors of

      ho r r o r f r o m t h e war and just the general, you know,

      al l a b o v e .

                       B u t a t the end of this state, as Mr.

      Ca m p b e l l h a s s t ated, our biggest problem now f or

      th e w o u n d e d w a r riors is the PEB/MEB process.       My

      pe r s p e c t i v e a s a wounded warrior, you need to throw

      it o u t t h e d o o r , get some new guys that have common

      se n s e , t h a t h a v e common knowledge, and that wants

      to f o l l o w t h e r egulations bec ause these guys a re

      no t g o i n g b y t h e regulation.         They're going for the

      se r v i c e .

                       I f t h e y feel they can shortchange you for

      so m e r e a s o n , I don't know why, you know, they would

      do t h a t .       I g e t tired of talking to friends of

      mi n e , d o u b l e -a m putees that's ge tting 40 percen t,

      an d t h e y s a y , h ey, I got something, and that's the

      wr o n g a n s w e r .   How can you be 100 percent on the VA




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      si d e a n d 4 0 p e r cent on the DoD side?             It just ain't

      ri g h t .     S o m e t h i ng is missing.

                     I t ' s s ystemic.       It's not just Army; it's

      no t j u s t N a v y ; it's just not Air Force.             It's

      sy s t e m i c .     A n d I'll leave you with this one final

      op t i o n .       W e n e e d to go to one system of care.

      Le t ' s s t o p , l e t 's follow, you know, I went through

      al l o f t h e m .      L et's follow the Air Force system of

      ca r e f o r t h e i r wounded troops.             All right.   Let's

      st o p b r e a k i n g a nd dividing and segregating because

      a l o t o f u s a r e falling through the cracks.

                     W e a r e the highest population of suicide,

      th e w o u n d e d w a r riors coming back, because we've

      lo s t e v e r y t h i n g .   We have no glimmer of ho pe, and

      ch a n c e s a r e w e lose family along that track.               Just

      re m e m b e r t h a t , and we'll finish the rest of the

      de a l .

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      Thank you.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      And last, but not least,

      Pa m e l a S t o k e s E ggleston.        Some people say she's the

      st r a w t h a t s t i r s the drink.




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                      [ L a u g h ter.]

                      M R . C A MPBELL:     And spouse of Sergeant

      Eg g l e s t o n .    S h e is the Director of Development for

      Bl u e S t a r F a m i l ies, a military spouse, and ardent

      ad v o c a t e o f w o u nded warriors and veterans.

                      Pamela.

                      M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:         Thanks, M r.

      Ca m p b e l l .     T h a n k you to U.S. Naval Institute and to

      MO A A .       T h a n k s e specially to Rene Campos, our

      fr i e n d .

                      A s y o u can see, I stir the pot a little,

      an d a c c o r d i n g t o Charles here, I had to stir the

      po t .       O b v i o u s l y , the reason I became an advocate,

      th e r e a s o n I g o t involved with such wonderful

      or g a n i z a t i o n s , is because of the trials and

      tr i b u l a t i o n s w e had during my husband's tenure at

      th e W a l t e r R e e d Army Medical Center.            He was there

      fo r t h r e e - a n d- a -half years.        He was there duri ng an

      in t e r e s t i n g t i m e.   I 'll let him talk about tha t

      la t e r .

                      A n d s o for me, as a military spouse, but

      be c a u s e m y h u s b and was a Reservist, it was a very




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      in t e r e s t i n g a s p ect.     I hear a lot now about

      mi l i t a r y f a m i l i es.     The First Lady has mentioned

      mi l i t a r y f a m i l i es as their platform, but in 2005, I

      di d n ' t s e e t h e full -on acceptance of military

      sp o u s e s a n d f a m ilies from my perspective, and so

      th a t h e l p w a s n ot there, and so when it's not there

      fo r m e , I g o g e t it, and if you can't give it to

      me , t h e n y o u a r e going to move aside, and I wi ll

      fi n d s o m e o n e e l se to give it to me.

                    I t ' s b een that simple.                 That's why my

      hu s b a n d a n d I a re here today.              We can speak about

      it , b u t I ' v e f o ught many battles.                  My husband, he

      te l l s p e o p l e o f ten that he's 100 percent disabled,

      an d I ' v e h a d p e ople say, oh, really, you know, he

      do e s n ' t l o o k l i ke it, and if I hear the phrase

      "i n v i s i b l e w o u n ds" one more time, but I'm going to

      sa y i t m y s e l f , he is a sufferer of TBI and PTSD.

                    H e ' s h ad almost 60 surgeries.                 I call him

      a M a r i n e b e c a u s e he has so much titanium in him,

      bu t y o u k n o w , y ou have to stop, and even in this

      da y a n d a g e , i n 2010, we have to stop looking on

      th e o u t s i d e a n d start focusing on some of the




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      th i n g s t h a t J e a n has been talking about in terms of

      th e P T S a n d T B I .

                     S o I ' l l leave with that.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      Thank you.

                     I ' d l i ke to pose the first question to

      Ma j o r G e n e r a l B unting.

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:             Ladies and

      ge n t l e m e n , l e t me interrupt just for a second on an

      ad m i n d e t a i l .   This is a very important panel, and

      th e y h a v e i s s u e s they want to ta lk with you about

      an d b a c k a n d f o rth.       When it comes time for John to

      as k y o u t o m a k e a question, wait for the mic

      be c a u s e w e ' r e v ideo and audio recording this so

      th a t o t h e r s m a y hear it later.

                     T h a n k you.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      A lot has been written,

      sa i d a n d e x p e r i enced by Guard and Reserve, the

      di f f i c u l t i e s t h ey're having with support.            What's

      th e e n d -s t a g e h ere?      What do you think is goin g to

      ha p p e n ?   H o w i s this all going to improve for Guard

      an d R e s e r v e a n d their families?               I mean is there --

      do y o u t h i n k t h e re's a program that the Guard and




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      Re s e r v e a r e w o r king on right now that's really

      go i n g t o h e l p o r --

                    M A J G E N BUNTING:         Well, I think there are

      se v e r a l p r o g r a m s.   I think again the key with Guard

      an d R e s e r v e i s understanding that it's going to

      ta k e l i t e r a l l y everywhere across America to ta ke

      ca r e o f t h e m b e cause they are not all in close

      pr o x i m i t y t o V A or Military Treatment Facility, and

      I t h i n k w e ' v e m ade great strides.

                    S e r g e a nt Eggleston was a Reservist, and I

      th i n k w e ' v e c o m e a long way, but we're not a lw ays

      th e r e y e t , t h a t sometimes when a Guardsman or

      Re s e r v i s t g o e s up and identifies themselves as a

      Gu a r d s m a n o r R e servist, there are those who still

      pe r h a p s p e r c e i v e that they don't get the same

      am o u n t o f t r e a t ment or care.

                    I t h i n k we've come a long way on that, but

      we ' r e n o t q u i t e there.        But what it's really going

      to t a k e i s u n d e rstanding that service is service.

      A w o u n d e d w a r r i or is a wounded warrior, and I

      co u l d n ' t a g r e e more.      We need to understand that it

      sa y s " U . S . "    R e gardless of your branch of service,




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      it s t a r t s w i t h U.S.         It ends with us at U.S., and

      as l o n g a s w e g et that adopted across the nation,

      we ' l l g o a l o n g way, but we're not there yet.

      Pr o g r e s s h a s b e en made, but that's what it's going

      to t a k e .

                     M R . C A MPBELL:        Jean, if I could ask you a

      qu e s t i o n .   W h a t can you tell us about what's going

      on i n t h e V A t o day in terms of different modalities

      or t r e a t m e n t t h at they're trying, and in terms of

      th e P T S D a n d T B I, are there things that we should

      st a r t t o t h i n k about that's going on there?

                     M S . LA N GBEIN:        Well, one of the first

      th i n g s i s w e a r e screening OEF/OIF veteran to see

      if t h e y h a v e a n y signs or symptoms of TBI and PTSD.

      We k n o w t h a t t h ere are symptoms that mimic each

      ot h e r .     S o y o u may have PTSD; you may have TBI; you

      ma y h a v e s o m e o f both .          And so the importance is

      no t j u s t d o i n g the initial screening, but doing

      fu r t h e r e v a l u a t ion and secondary screening to see

      ex a c t l y w h a t ' s going on, and then providing that

      sp e c i f i c t r e a t m ent.

                     I n t h e area of treatment for mental




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      he a l t h , t h e y u s ed eviden ce- based treatments such as

      co g n i t i v e b e h a v ioral therapy, prolonged exposure,

      di f f e r e n t m o d a l ities that are being used or

      pr o c e d u r e s l i k e acupuncture.       We offer services

      li k e k a y a k i n g t o people that have TBI and PTSD and

      fi n d t h a t t o b e a very therapeutic way for the m to

      wo r k o n t h e t h e rapies.       The entire polytrauma

      sy s t e m o f c a r e has subject matter experts in that

      fi e l d t h a t d o t he evaluations and try to tailor the

      tr e a t m e n t t o t h e specific individual.

                   S o i t ' s not a cookie cutter approach.            We

      ca n ' t s a y w e d o one thing for everybody.           It is

      ve r y i n d i v i d u a l ized.

                   M R . C A MPBELL:      Thank you.

                   S e r g e a nt Major, one of the issues that

      Do D , t h e s e r v i c es, VA, struggle with is this whole

      st i g m a , t h e s t i gma issue of PTSD and TBI.        What,

      ho w d o y o u t h i n k we should be dealing with it?             Are

      th e r e p r o g r a m s in place as far as Marine Corps is

      co n c e r n e d t h a t you feel are adequately covering

      th i s o r s h o u l d they be doing more?

                   S g t M A J PLOSKONKA:       First, I'm not a




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      do c t o r .    H o w e v e r, in dealing with our population of

      wo u n d e d , i l l a n d injured and PTSD and TBI, of

      co u r s e , P T S D c a n be any traumatic event.      It does

      no t n e c e s s a r i l y have to be a wounded IED blast or

      so m e t h i n g ; i t c ould be a rape victim.      It could be

      nu m e r o u s a c r o s s -the -board with our population in

      th e M a r i n e C o r p s.

                      W e r e l y on Navy Medicine to assist with a

      lo t o f t h i n g s .     However, our Marine Corps Community

      Se r v i c e h a s d e v eloped many programs for resiliency:

      fa m i l y h e l p w i t h PTSD; we have warrior

      st r e n g t h e n i n g p rograms that we have implemented.       A

      lo t o f r e s e a r c h and d evelopment has come acros s the

      bo a r d s i n c e t h e prolonged efforts of this conflict,

      an d w i t h t h a t r esearch and development, we've been

      ab l e t o t a k e t h e time and actually start

      im p l e m e n t i n g .

                      S o w h a t you saw in 2003, '4, '5 timeframe,

      we l e a r n e d f r o m those m istakes in several instances

      ac r o s s - t h e - b o a r d, and are now able to start putting

      th e p r o c e s s e s t ogether and the programs to give the

      re s o u r c e s a v a i l able to the Marines and their




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      fa m i l i e s .

                     O n e t h ing that I would like to say is we

      ca n ' t g r o w a d o ctor overni ght.        It takes time to

      ge t a p s y c h o l o g ist to understand and get the

      ex p e r i e n c e a n d the wisdom and the knowledge to deal

      wi t h t h e s e i s s u es that we are facing everyday.           So

      in t r y i n g t o d o that and implement and get the

      st a f f a n d e v e r y body, it's taken time.       It real ly

      ha s , a n d I k n o w we want quick answers and the

      so l u t i o n t o d a y for these issues; however, that's

      no t a l w a y s t h e case.

                     I t ' s t aken me 25 years to get to this

      po i n t .    I t ' s t a ken a lot of experience and wisdom

      an d k n o w l e d g e , and thousands of Marines pointing me

      in t h e r i g h t d i rection as I've traversed the roads

      in t h e M a r i n e C orps.

                     S o t h e same thing has to happen with our

      do c t o r s a n d o u r nurses and our health care

      pr o v i d e r s .   S o it has been a struggle, and it's

      be e n v e r y d i f f i cult for people to sit a nd watc h and

      tr y t o a s s i s t f amilies and Marines.

                     S o o n the Marine Corps side, the first




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      th i n g i s t r y i n g to get rid of the stigma, to tell

      Ma r i n e s t h a t i t 's okay if you're not okay.      We've

      co m e o u t w i t h m any programs, one video that we show

      ou r M a r i n e s w h e n they come back from deploymen t.

      It ' s c a l l e d " C o ver Me."   It's Dr. Heidi Kraft who

      de a l t w i t h J a s o n Dunham, a Medal of Honor

      re c i p i e n t .

                     S h e c a me forward and put a lot of

      in f o r m a t i o n o u t there to assist our Marines.     Our

      to p l e a d e r s h i p has gotten on ther e and told Marines

      th a t i t i s o k a y if you're not okay.         That we need

      to g e t h e l p .     Y ou need to get help as early as

      po s s i b l e s o t h a t we can give you the coping skills

      fo r t h e P T S D .

                     I f y o u don't get those skills early

      en o u g h , y o u m a y cause permanent scarr ing in your

      br a i n a s y o u c o ntinue to try to self - medicate and

      th i n k t h a t y o u know what you're doing right, and

      th a t s c a r r i n g m ay prevent those professionals from

      be i n g a b l e t o g ive you those coping skills later on

      in l i f e , a n d a t that point, you may end up hav ing

      to t a k e m e d i c i n e for the rest of your life.




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                    S o w e want to get rid of that stigma up -

      fr o n t a n d h a v e you come forward and tell us, and

      th e n p o i n t y o u in the right direction to that

      re s o u r c e , a n d I think those resources are becoming

      mo r e a n d m o r e a va ilable through many programs.

                    I k n o w in the Marine Corps we use

      Co m m u n i t y S e r v i ces.     We use Navy Medicine.     We use

      Mi l i t a r y O n e S o urce.        We have many opportunities to

      se e k t h a t .   W e ' ve got a 24/7 Marine Corps hotline,

      bo t h i n t h e W o u nded Warrior Regiment and for

      Bu i l d i n g R e s i l i ency for Family Members.        We just

      la u n c h e d t h a t i n the Marine Corps in the last

      co u p l e o f w e e k s here.

                    A n d s o I think we're well on our way to

      ge t t i n g r i d o f the stigma of what PTSD is so that

      we c a n s t a r t h e lping our force.

                    M R . C A MPBELL:         Thank you.

                    A n y b o d y else like to add anything to that?

                    M A J G E N BUNTING:           I'd just add, we work

      cl o s e l y w i t h t h e Marines.          The Marines have a

      pr o g r a m c a l l e d OSCAR, but in the program I'm

      ta l k i n g a b o u t , resiliency, the Marine Corps, Army,




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      Na v y , e v e r y b o d y has been a part of that, and a

      wh o l e l o t o f w h at we have comes from Greg

      Go l d s t e i n , w h o is a contractor with the Marine

      Co r p s .   I t ' s a great DoD collaborative across all

      th e b r a n c h e s , b ut I would only add this, because I

      me n t i o n e d m y S e rgeant Major c ame up with the n ame

      of t h i s , I b e l i eve the biggest thing you can do

      wi t h t h e s t i g m a is have senior NCOs talk about it.

                   I t ' s o ne thing for certain levels, but

      le a d e r s h i p a t a ll of them, but when a Sergeant

      Ma j o r t e l l s h i s Marines one thing or any NCO,

      ac r o s s t h e b o a r d, that resonates as much or more

      th a n s o m e b o d y w ith stars or anyone else.

                   S o I j ust want to thank the Sergeant Major

      fo r h i m t a k i n g a leadership role and telling

      Ma r i n e s i t ' s o k ay to not be okay.

                   M R . C A MPBELL:      Thanks.

                   C h a r l e s.

                   S S G E G GLE STON:      From a warrior

      pe r s p e c t i v e , t h e biggest turnoff for us of

      ac k n o w l e d g i n g P TSD, and some of the guys in uniform

      he r e a g r e e , i s the threats of I'll take your




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      cl e a r a n c e f r o m you if you come down with certain

      si t u a t i o n s o r d isorders such as PTS or PTSD, and as

      st a t e d s e v e r a l times to me.       I hate putting "D" on

      an y t h i n g b e c a u s e it's a disorder, but if it's not

      or g a n i z e d , i t ' s out of order, it's a dis -order.

      Th a t ' s t h e b i g thing.

                     I j u s t can't get it through my head, and I

      th i n k t h e s y s t e m itself can't ge t it through their

      he a d t h a t t h i s is not something criminal; this is

      so m e t h i n g t h a t that happened to me or happened to

      th e m o r h a p p e n e d to her.

                     I t ' s j ust like if you got, you was at a

      st o p l i g h t a n d a tractor trailer came and rear -ended

      yo u .       T h e n e x t time you see a tractor trailer

      co m i n g , y o u w a n t to go through the stoplight.       You

      do n ' t w a n t t o s it there and take another hit.         All

      ri g h t .     T h a t ' s PTSD.

                     S o w h y should you snatch my clearance from

      me , a n d I ' v e b e en, they wouldn't, you know, I

      fo u g h t t h e f i g h t big -time.      They did everythin g in

      th e i r p o w e r s t o slap a clearance rejection on me

      bi g t i m e b e c a u s e I have top secret clearance.       I




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      wo r k e d a l l m y l ife to keep a clearance.          So why

      sh o u l d t h e y t a k e it from me for something that I

      di d n ' t v o l u n t a r ily ask f or?

                   I d i d n 't commit a crime.          I'm not a felon.

      I g o t b l o w n u p serving my country.           You know that's

      so m e t h i n g y o u n eed to think about.        Someone needs

      to t a l k t o t h e i r Congressman, their Senator, and

      st o p t h e s y s t e m from doing this because that is

      ha p p e n i n g t o a l l of us.

                   S o t h a t's why you have a lot of guys that

      co m e b a c k a n d s ay, oh, no, you won't, I won't claim

      PT S D .    T h e y t a k e it home and they kill their self.

      Ha d a f r i e n d d o the same thing the other week.

                   H e w a s fighting this battle, and he was on

      th e G o o g l e , G o o gle messenger, till one day his

      mo t h e r s e n t o u t the message basically saying, you

      kn o w s o m e t h i n g , he's gone; he took his own life.

      Ma n , t h a t p i s s e s me off.    Excuse me.      That makes me

      ma d .     All right.

                   T h i s c ould have been -- this could have been

      ta k e n c a r e o f a t the ground root, but we're so big

      lo o k i n g a t t h e pie in the sky, we forget the person




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      be h i n d t h e s u i t .     If it wasn't for guys like

      Ge n e r a l S t u l t z , guys like General Chiarelli, this

      sy s t e m w o u l d b e upside down on the Army side.                  I

      ca n ' t s pe a k o n the Air Force, Marines side, or Navy

      ei t h e r , y o u k n o w, Marines fall underneath the Navy.

      Yo u k n o w .

                       [ L a u g h ter.]

                       S S G E G GLESTON:      But, you know, you have

      gu y s l i k e t h a t , who we call our champions.               You

      kn o w , t h e s e g u y s have a passion.              They was on th e

      gr o u n d .     T h e s e are not one of the tar seats that

      sa t b e h i n d a s e at and never seen combat, never seen

      th e a t e r , a l w a y s preach garrison.             It's different,

      as I s t a t e d b e f ore, preaching matrix and preaching

      re a l i s m .     L e t ' s get to the realism on this plate,

      an d l e t ' s s t o p playing around.

                       I ' m a soldier so you know I have a real

      go o d m o u t h , y o u know.        I speak it like it should be

      sp o k e n , b u t , y o u know, sometimes you just, you

      kn o w , y o u j u s t get fed up with the craziness, and

      yo u s a y , y o u k n ow something, it takes more energy

      to d o i t t h e w r ong way like you're doing it than to




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      do i t t h e r i g h t way.         It's just easy.    It's just

      co m m o n n a t u r e .

                    I n e v e r seen a bird fall out of the tree

      an d a n o t h e r b i r d don't come and pick them up.        We

      fa l l o u t o n t h e battlefield, and so meone is

      st e p p i n g o n t o p of our back, it feels like.         And we

      ha v e t h e b e s t d ocs in the system at Walter Reed,

      BA M C a n d a l l t h ese other guys, but the sad, sad

      st o r y a b o u t i t , I heard all the bad stuff about the

      VA , t h e d i f f e r e nce between the DoD and the VA for

      me w a s 1 0 0 - f o l d on the VA side.

                    A n d t h ey said the key word after they cut

      me u p a n d d i d s urgery and rehabbed me back to my

      pr o p e r f o r m .       D oD treats you temporarily, just to

      ge t y o u o u t t h e door; we'll treat you the rest of

      yo u r l i f e , a n d these guys tr eated me like I was

      so m e b o d y s p e c i a l.   Maybe I wasn't anybody special

      be c a u s e I n e v e r thought of myself as being special.

                    B u t t h ese guys made me feel like a king;

      th e y m a d e m y w i fe feel like a queen; they made my

      fa m i l y f e e l h a p py that I served, and that was one

      of t h e f i r s t t i mes I felt like that since I got




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      wo u n d e d .

                       S o t h a t's something I can take to the

      ba n k .    W e d o h a ve a system that works, but there's

      a l o t o f l o o p s and bounds in that system.

                       M R . C A MPBELL:     Thank you, Charles.

                       J e a n , yes, after that strong endorsement

      of t h e V A b y S e rgeant Eggleston, please, what would

      yo u l i k e t o s a y ?

                       M S . L A NGBEIN:     And we're pleased that he's

      pl e a s e d .

                       [ L a u g h ter.]

                       M S . L A NGBEIN:     I just want to mention one

      th i n g i n r e g a r d s to the stigma of mental health.

      Th a t ' s s o m e t h i n g that I see on a regular basis when

      I i n t e r a c t w i t h the veterans, and it's not just

      ad m i t t i n g t h a t they might be weak, and that goes

      ba c k t o t h e i r m ilitary culture that if you admit

      yo u ' r e w e a k , t h en that's a deficit or a defect in

      yo u .     S o i t ' s o ve rcoming that.

                       B u t i t 's also related to the multiple

      de p l o y m e n t s a n d the reluctance of people to seek

      tr e a t m e n t b e c a u se they know that they have to get




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      re a d y t o r e t u r n to combat.         So they figure, well,

      wh y b o t h e r s t a r ting the treatment now because I

      kn o w I ' m g o i n g back.       I'll deal with it when I come

      ba c k .

                     S o t h e re is a reluctance to seek it

      be c a u s e o f t h e multiple deployments, and then as

      Mr . E g g l e s t o n r eferred to, as how it will impact

      th e i r e m p l o y m e n t, the security issue is still a

      fa c t o r t h a t t h e y're l eery of.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:     Thank you.

                     P a m , y ou work for a wonderful

      or g a n i z a t i o n , B lue Star Families.         They do great

      wo r k o n b a s e f o r families.          How would you describe

      th e e f f o r t s b e i ng undertaken by the services that

      yo u c o m e i n c o n tact with, just how effe ctive t hey

      ar e i n t e r m s o f handling, helping families deal

      wi t h d e p l o y m e n t ?

                     M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:         Well, I have to

      ta k e a t w o - p r o n ged approach to that.           I think now

      th a t m i l i t a r y f amilies are getting attention, like

      I s a i d b e f o r e , I think there are many o rganiza tions

      th a t h a v e a l r e a dy had, you know, a long history and




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      ha d b e e n e s t a b l ished that are picking up the pace

      an d i m p l e m e n t i n g programs to address the needs of

      mi l i t a r y c h i l d r en and the military spouses and

      pa r e n t s a n d g r a ndparents and their family un it as a

      wh o l e .

                   B u t t h e second part of that is there's

      st i l l w o r k t o b e done, and you can program somebody

      to d e a t h , a n d b y that I mean, and I'll kind of

      pi g g y b a c k o n J e an saying that, you know, every case

      is i n d i v i d u a l w hen she was talking about the

      pa t i e n t , b u t w h en you're looking at a patient, or

      yo u ' r e l o o k i n g at a wounded warrior, and then you

      so r t o f s a y , o k ay, connected to that wounded

      wa r r i o r i s a s p ouse or a fiance or girlfriend and

      fa m i l y m e m b e r s and children.

                   T h e y a lso have to be looked at as

      i n d i v i d u a l s , a n d what a lot of programs have done,

      in m y o p i n i o n , is try to lump folks together and

      sa y , o k a y , t h i s is, you know, we're going to help

      yo u d o t h i s ; w e 're going to help you do that.

                   A n d I know for me, when Charles was at

      Wa l t e r R e e d i n 2005, you know, as a Reservist




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      mi l i t a r y s p o u s e , there was nothing.   I felt like

      th e r e w a s n o t h i ng for me.   I would try to get help.

      I w o u l d t r y t o go different people and get

      as s i s t a n c e , a n d it was very difficult for me to try

      to n a v i g a t e t h r ough the different W eb sites an d the

      di f f e r e n t p r o g r ams to try to help my particular

      si t u a t i o n .

                     I s t i l l had to work; I still had, you

      kn o w , t o c o m e h ome everyday and take care of my

      hu s b a n d , p a r t i c ularly after the spinal surgeries

      an d t h i n g s l i k e that, and so it's very diff icu lt to

      sa y , o h , w e h a v e these programs, you should come

      do w n h e r e , y o u should come to base, you should come

      to t h e s e t h i n g s , and I'm taking care of him, and

      he ' s , y o u k n o w , in denial about his PTSD.      I'll say

      th a t .    I m e a n , you know, at the beginning, an d so

      I' m , w e ' r e w o r k ing through those issues.

                     S o i t ' s, you know, look at each individual

      ca s e , l o o k a t t he families, look at what they're

      go i n g t h r o u g h , and then, you know, try to wrap your

      br a i n s a r o u n d h ow we can work those things out.

                     I ' l l a lso say th at I think, you know,




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      th e r e a r e s o m e wonderful programs out there that

      ar e r e a c h i n g o u t, that are going to the bases and

      ac t u a l l y g o i n g into the communities, which is where

      I t h i n k w e n e e d to focus on, going into these

      co m m u n i t i e s w h e re the National Guard families are,

      th e R e s e r v i s t G uard are -- we live in a communit y --

      an d s a y h o w c a n we help our veterans, our wounded

      wa r r i o r s , o u r s oldiers and their families directly

      in t h o s e c o m m u n ities?      That would be a great help,

      I think.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      Anybody like to add

      an y t h i n g t o t h a t?     We've got just about 20 minutes

      le f t .    S o w h y d on't, unless there's some issue that

      so m e b o d y w o u l d like to bring up, why don't we go to

      qu e s t i o n s .

                     W o u l d you identify yourself and the

      or g a n i z a t i o n y o u're with.

                     D R . B R OWN:     I'm Dr. Br own, clinical

      ps y c h o l o g i s t w i th the Defense Centers of Excellence

      wi t h t h e R e s i l i ence and Prevention Directorate.

                     I ' m t h e subject matter expert for recovery

      ca r e s u p p o r t , f ormer NCO clinical psychologist,




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      de p l o y e d c o m b a t vet, et cetera.

                     M y q u e stion, and I don't know if this will

      be a n s w e r e d b y the panel, but I want to put it out

      th e r e a n d g e t i t on the record, one of the

      fr u s t r a t i o n s I hear from many soldiers is -- now , by

      th e w a y , n o t a l l soldiers have the privilege of

      ha v i n g a s p o u s e who sticks with them or having a

      sp o u s e , p e r i o d .

                     W e l o o k at TBI, we look at PTSD, we look

      at a d r e n a l i n , a nd the brain was flushed with

      co r t i s o l , a s t r ess hormone, that causes cognitive

      im p a i r m e n t s , e t cetera, oftentimes they're not the

      be s t k e e p e r o f their own record, their o wn

      ex p e r i e n c e s , l e t's say.      We have medical records

      no w , t h e A H L T A system, which is beneficial.

                     I j u s t moved here about three weeks ago

      fr o m G e r m a n y .       I've been overseas since '95,

      im b e d d e d w i t h S trykers, et cetera.            We do a lot of

      go o d w o r k w i t h soldiers when we're out in the

      fi e l d .    W e d o c u ment this in their medical record,

      an d o f t e n t i m e s it doesn't make it along with them.

                     T h e m e dical record that we have in Germany




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      is m a i n t a i n e d , and it's wonderful.           I can see

      pe o p l e w h o s h o w up from Fort Campbell, fro m Fort

      Le w i s .   I c a n r ead their history.             They don't

      re c a l l t h e i r h i story.     They don't remember their

      mo t h e r ' s p h o n e number anymore after awhile.              When

      th e y d e p l o y , w e don't have access to that.            When we

      jo i n u p w i t h t h e VA, I don't think we have proper

      co m m u n i c a t i o n , and I don't think a lot of that

      in f o r m a t i o n i s shared.

                   A l o t of soldiers shared with me that

      th e y ' r e v e r y f r ustrated at having to go through six

      mo r e h o u r s a g a i n trying to record their history.

                   A r e t h ere efforts being made to have a

      un i v e r s al s y s t e m that's going to deploy with

      in d i v i d u a l s a n d also reach over to the VA?          The

      AH L T A i s a g r e a t start right now.             I'm curious to

      kn o w w h a t w e ' r e doing to bring it start to finish?

                   S g t M A J PLOSKONKA:        I can only speak on the

      Ma r i n e C o r p s s i de.    Basica lly we have a tracki ng

      sy s t e m i n t h e M arine Corps that we've developed

      th r o u g h o u r M I division.         It's called MCWIITS.

      It ' s t h e M a r i n e Corps Wounded, Ill, Injured




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      Tr a c k i n g S y s t e m basically, and we put in all our

      da t a i n t h e r e .   Now that system, we're tryin g to

      re f i n e i t a l i t tle bit.

                   T h e p r oblem with the AHLTA system and

      CH C S , w h i c h i s all your appointments and things

      li k e t h a t , t h e problem with that is you start

      ge t t i n g i n t o H I PAA.     You start getting into PII and

      th i n g s l i k e t h a t with the individual.         Yes ?

                   M R . C A MPBELL:        Tell them what HIPAA means.

                   S g t M A J PLOSKONKA:         Oh, I'm sorry.      HIPAA

      is b a s i c a l l y t h e privacy act stuff on patient care

      an d t h i n g s l i k e that.       You hear doctors talk about

      it a l l t h e t i m e and nurses.            So we don't want their

      pe r s o n a l i n f o r m ation to get out.

                   A n d t h en PII is Personally Identifiable

      In f o r m a t i o n , s t uff like that, that the DoD deals

      wi t h e v e r y d a y , Social Security numbers, things like

      th a t .

                   S o t h e re's a lot of different things that

      py r a m i d i n t o t h is whole trying to get our hand s

      wr a p p e d a r o u n d everything.         So internally to most

      of t h e s e r v i c e s , we develop these programs that




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      al l o w u s a c c e s s to see things.      We use Marine

      On l i n e .   I t ' s a Marine Corps base system that we

      us e .    W e c a n l o ok at our information.      We can look

      at s o m e o f o u r medical stuff when we need

      in o c u l a t i o n s a n d things like that.

                     S o i t ' s very frustrating in trying to put

      al l o f t h e s e s y stems together and work them

      to g e t h e r , a n d e ven on a national level with

      ho s p i t a l s a c r o s s the country, it's really

      di f f i c u l t , e s p e c ially when it come to the

      ph a r m a c i e s a n d how much medications have been given

      ou t a n d t r a c k i n g of all of that stuff.

                     B u t w e are trying to get our hands wrapped

      ar o u n d i t a n d p rovide the best quality care for

      ev e r y b o d y a s t h ey try to navigate and so that t he

      co m m a n d e r s c a n look in there and look at that

      sy s t e m a n d s e e their individual Marine on our side

      an d o u r c a s e , a nd know where they've been and where

      we n e e d t o g o a head with their system.

                     W e a l s o have Recovery Care Coordinators,

      wh i c h c a m e o u t of the N ational Defense

      Au t h o r i z a t i o n A ct of 2008, and these RCCs, they




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      al s o h a v e a c c e s s to our MCWIITS, and they deal with

      th e m c o n s t a n t l y .

                     T h e V A issues PDAs and things like that so

      th a t t h e y h a v e this system in their hand where they

      kn o w w h e r e t h e i r appointm ents are, and we help to

      tr a c k t h a t a s w ell for them, and that's what the

      RC C s , t h e c a s e managers on the medical side, where

      th e i r s q u a d l e a ders and section leaders, where

      th e i r l e a d e r s h i p, if you will, are able to get into

      th a t s y s t e m w i t h them and say, h ey, did you

      re m e m b e r t h i s a ppointment on this day?

                     B e c a u s e to be quite frank, we have some

      pe o p l e t h a t g o through a bottle of shampoo in the

      mo r n i n g b e c a u s e they don't remember that they

      wa s h e d t h e i r h a ir or not, and that's what a TBI is

      in s o m e c a s e s .         T hat's a severe TBI where they

      do n ' t r e m e m b e r anything.

                     Y o u k n ow, I have a Marine over at Bethesda

      ri g h t n o w t h a t had a seizure one day, wasn't

      in v o l v e d i n I E D or anything, but had a seizure one

      da y a n d h a d a n issue in his brain and does not

      re m e m b e r h i s f a mily at all.




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                     H e g o e s home to visit his family with his

      fi a n c e w h o i s - - the only person he remembers is his

      fi a n c e , a n d h e ' s scared to death to go home on his

      ow n , a n d h e g o e s home and looks at all the photos

      of h i s g r o w i n g up but does not remember these

      people.            A n d t h at's very difficult for someone, and

      I a s k e d h i m i f he was going to remember the

      co n v e r s a t i o n I had with him, and he said he hoped

      so .

                     S o h e has that PDA there in order to write

      do w n t h a t c o n v e rsation and track it, but this is a

      li f e - l o n g t h i n g .   This isn't going to go away

      to m o r r o w .     Y o u don't wake up from this and

      ev e r y t h i n g i s f ine again.

                     S o I u nderstand the question and trying to

      ge t e v e r y t h i n g together for the TBI and the PTSD

      wh e r e p e o p l e a r e having very hard times everyday

      di s c o v e r i n g t h e world that they live in again.    So

      ho p e f u l l y t h a t offers a little.

                     W e a r e trying to get all of the systems to

      ta l k t o g e t h e r , but there are a lot of different

      so f t w a r e p r o g r a ms and things like that, and we do




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      no t w a n t t o l o s e people's personal inform ation and

      ha v e i t a c c e s s i ble by somebody that should not have

      th a t i n f o r m a t i o n and end up with identity theft or

      pe o p l e l o s i n g t heir jobs because somebody has some

      me d i c a l i n f o r m a tion against them and likewise, as

      yo u c a n i m a g i n e .

                    M R . C A MPBELL:    Pam.

                    M S . S T O KES EGGLESTON:       Yes, I'd like to

      ad d t h a t , w e l l , first of all, a universal medical

      sy s t e m w o u l d b e a great benefit, and I remember

      Ch a r l e s a n d I b eing at a VA conference -- what -- two

      ye a r s a g o w h e n that was initially brought up.          You

      kn o w , w e w a n t t o go to the DoD, and we want to put

      so m e , y o u k n o w , a universal medical system so there

      ca n b e a s e a m l e ss transition of medical records

      fr o m t h e D o D t o the VA, and I don't know what

      ha p p e n e d t o t h a t, but my husband is an IT guy, and

      he t e l l s m e i t can be done s o I believe it.

                    S o i t ' s like what's going on?        That would

      ma k e i t , y e s , I 'm on board with that.          I also think

      th a t i n l i e u o f the fact that my husband lost his

      me d i c a l r e c o r d s -- God -- how many times?




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                 S S G E G GLESTON:    Three times.

                 M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:       I m ade, and, ye s,

      we ' r e b l e s s e d t hat I'm in his life, but you have to

      lo o k a t o t h e r f amilies that, you know, don't have

      sp o u s e s o r d o n ' t have girlfriends, that have

      pa r e n t s , a n d y o u have to, what I would encourage

      ev e r y o n e t o d o is empower those folks that ar e

      ta k i n g c a r e o f these military spouses and, you

      kn o w , r e a l l y h e lp them, really be empathetic and

      co m p a s s i o n a t e t owards what you're doing with them.

                 I w a s lucky enough to have a couple of

      go o d f r i e n d s o f ours, case managers at Walter Reed,

      wh o , y o u k n o w , made me numerous copies -- I won't say

      ho w m a n y- - o f h i s medical records so I have a stack

      of p a p e r s , y o u know, of his medical records

      be c a u s e , y o u k n ow, they seem to vanish about two or

      th r e e t i m e s w h i le he was at Walter Reed, and then

      wh e n h e w a s t r y ing to seamlessly transition to the

      VA , t h e y w e r e l ost again.

                 A n d p a rt of that was because my husband is

      a h e l l - r a i s e r , and he was at Walter Reed during the

      sc a n d a l , a n d t h e other part is just, you know,




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      in c o m p e t e n c e .   So, yes, I think that a universal

      me d i c a l s y s t e m would be fantastic, and we have

      en o u g h s m a r t p e ople to make that happen so I don't

      kn o w w h a t ' s g o i ng on with that.

                      S S G E G GLESTON:     All right.        I'm going to

      gi v e y o u a q u i c k synopsis on that, and then we'll

      go t o y o u , s i r .       It can be done.           It's done be tween

      th e d i f f e r e n t d epartments, Energy, HUD, believe me.

      Th a t H I P A A , I u nderstand it perfectly well, but

      wh e n y o u h a v e a total encrypted system that looks

      li k e j u n k i f y o u come into that system, but only if

      yo u ' r e o n t h e t ail end and if you're on the

      a u t h o r i z e d e n d of it, it works.            I mean it's too

      ea s y t o b e d o n e .

                      I t n e e ds to be done because one of the

      fi r s t c a s e s I h ad coming from DoD to VA is I was

      gi v e n a p r e s c r i ption that was known on the DoD side

      no t t o g i v e o r it gives me death.                 And they gave it

      to m e a t t h e V A because they used to give it, they

      gi v e i t t o T B I patients like myself.                 It will stop

      my b r e a t h i n g f o r me, and when I saw it, I said, oh,

      he l l , n o , b e c a u se I remember seeing red flags




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      be f o r e b e c a u s e I dropped to my knees first thing in

      t h e m o r n i n g a f t er taking this drug, and they had to

      sh o o t c h a r c o a l through my veins to make sure I

      wo u l d n ' t d i e w i thin about two hours.

                       S o , y e ah, it needs to happen.           Somebody

      ne e d t o g e t u p , if they can't get it together, they

      ne e d t o l o o k a t the systems we're implementing to

      Ta i w a n , t h e s y s tems we're implementing to Japan,

      th e s y s t e m s w e ' re, you know, we're implementing to

      Ce n t r a l A m e r i c a .    They do it; we can do it.          It's

      to o e a s y .      A l l right.      Let's stop thinking of

      re a s o n s n o t t o do it.

                       V A s e r vice our military.           So what's th e

      bi g p r o b l e m w i t h that?        Its only purpose in seeing

      th i s i n f o r m a t i o n is military personnel.           They don't

      go t o P o s t a l .      They don't go to UPS.            They only

      se r v i c e m i l i t a r y.

                       M R . C A MPBELL:     Yes.

                       S S G E G GLESTON:      The gentleman that was

      go i n g t o s p e a k first, yeah.

                       C A P T W ATKINS:     There's currently a process

      on g o i n g .    I t ' s a collaboration between the VA and




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      Do D .     I t ' s c a l l ed the Information Sharing

      In i t i a t i v e , a n d it's an attempt to bring together

      al l t h e d i s p a r a te IT systems that we use throughout

      th e D o D a n d V A to track the health and the non -

      me d i c a l c a r e o f wounded, ill and injured sailors

      an d v e t e r a n s .

                     T h a t w ill be the initial steps of what

      th e y ' r e g o i n g t o call the Virtual Lifetime

      El e c t r o n i c H e a l th Record, or VLER, which will not

      ju s t b e a D o D / V A system.        It will be utilized

      na t i o n w i d e .

                     S o t h a t work is going on right now, and

      we ' v e m a d e t r e m endous strides in just the last few

      mo n t h s i n g e t t i ng these systems to talk together

      an d t o e n a b l e p eople to see the information they

      ne e d t o s e e w h e n they need to see it, and what

      th e y ' r e a l l o w e d to see based on what access levels

      th e y ' r e s u p p o s e d to have.

                     S o t h a t work is ongoing right now, and

      it ' s m o v i n g a s fast as you can get it to move, but

      yo u w i l l s e e t h at these systems will, in the

      fu t u r e , t a l k t o each other, and when somebody is in




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      th e a t e r , a n d t h ey're coming back, when they show up

      at y o u r c l i n i c , you're going to be able to see what

      th e y ' v e e x p e r i e nced in theater, and that

      in f o r m a t i o n w i l l be there.

                     M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:         Well, I hope they

      pu t t h e p r e s c r i ptions in.

                     M S . H U NT:   Good morning.          This question is

      fo r M s . L a n g b e i n.    Specifically, I wanted to ask

      mo r e a b o u t w h a t the VA has been doing to reach out

      to f e m a l e w o u n d ed warriors who are accessing the VA

      fo r c a r e ?

                     T h i s i s a persona l sticky wicket for me as

      a s e r g e a n t i n t he U.S. Army Reserves and a wounded

      wa r r i o r , c o m i n g up against roadblocks in the

      sy s t e m , s u c h a s my doctor saying, gee, I didn't

      kn o w w o m e n w e r e on the front lines or being

      mi s t a k e n a s a s pouse or a son or daughter of a

      ve t e r a n , a n d i f you could just speak more to how

      th e V A h a s b e e n reaching out to address those

      is s u e s ?

                     M S . L A NGBEIN:     Thank you for your service

      as a f e m a l e v e t eran.       The expansion of women




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      ve t e r a n s p r o g r a ms within the VA has had to take

      pl a c e b e c a u s e o f the increase that we have seen.

                     P r e v i o usly, when I worked in the Women

      Ve t e r a n s P r o g r a m, the primary users were older

      fe m a l e v e t e r a n s .   Their needs were very different.

      No w w e ' r e s e e i n g an increased number of female

      ve t e r a n s a c c e s s the VA for health care.

                     N a t i o n wide, I believe it's about 15

      pe r c e n t c u r r e n t ly of the returning combat veterans,

      an d s o w e h a v e to do a lot of education of our own

      pr o v i d e r s t o l e t them know, first of all, what the

      ne e d s a r e o f t h e new returning female veterans.

                     W e ' r e deal ing with, you know, issues

      re g a r d i n g c o n t r aception, issues regarding

      di f f i c u l t y c o m i ng to appointments because of either

      fa m i l y r e s p o n s i bilities with small children care or

      wo r k r e s p o n s i b i lities and school responsibilities.

                     S o b e c oming more flexible in th e hours of

      av a i l a b l e c a r e has become a primary care need.        And

      th e e x p a n s i o n o f women veterans programs, in

      ge n e r a l , h a s t a ken place.        They have expanded the

      se r v i c e s a v a i l a ble, and a lot of it is getting




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      ad d i t i o n a l s t a f f on board that are specialized to

      t r e a t f e m a l e i s sues.

                     T h e r e ' s a whole women's health initiative

      in p l a c e n o w i n the VA to incorporate not just

      se n d i n g y o u t o a primary care provider and then to

      th e w o m e n ' s h e a lth clinic for your female specific

      ne e d s , b u t t o s end you to the women's healt h c linic

      wh e r e y o u c a n r eceive all your care whether it's

      ge n d e r s p e c i f i c or primary or otherwise.

                     S o t h e re's a whole health initiative in

      pl a c e r i g h t n o w to specifically address that, not

      ju s t f o r t h e r e turning combat veterans, but for all

      fe m a l e v e t e r a n s as well.

                     M S . K A UFMANN:   Hi.     My name is Kristy

      Ka u f m a n n .   I ' m a Military Family Advocate and an

      Ar m y w i f e .    I w ant to thank USNI and MOAA for

      pu t t i n g t h i s o n and allowing us the opportunity to

      al s o s p e a k t o t he panel.

                     I w a n t ed to address the whole conc ept of

      th e W T U s .     I t h ink it's a great concept with the

      mi l i t a r y p u t t i n g its arms around these

      se r v i c e m e m b e r s and the families, but I think we




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      ne e d t o l o o k a t if it's feasible in its current

      mo d e l ?

                       I t h i n k it's a huge leap to ask line

      pe o p l e t o c o m e over to the wounded warrior sid e

      wh e r e o n t h e l i ne side the soldier is there for the

      mi s s i o n .    O n t h e wounded warrior side, the soldier

      is t h e m i s s i o n .      Without the proper selection,

      st a f f i n g , t r a i n ing and implementation, particularly

      of f a m i l y s u p p o rt, the mod el -- let's put it thi s

      wa y - - a f t e r w o r k ing with the WTs and the cadre over

      th e p a s t y e a r , they are not set up for success.

                       Y o u h a ve cadre members, particularly the

      sq u a d l e a d e r s , who have -- and platoon leaders, and

      Ch a r l e s a n d P a m know this -- and in 2005, the re was a

      la c k o f s e r v i c e s.

                       N o w , i t's not for lack of services; it's

      th e f e a s i b i l i t y of those services being implemented

      wi t h n o t e n o u g h people.        You got squad leaders that

      ar e s u p p o s e d t o be at one -to - ten ratio that ar e

      up w a r d s o f o n e - to -20.     You got prim ary care

      ma n a g e r s w h o a r e managing 125, 130 patients.        Same

      th i n g w i t h n u r s e case managers.




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                   Y o u h a ve a lot of people in the cadre that

      ar e t r y i n g t o d o the right thing.            The education

      an d t h e t r a i n i n g they get for this, if they get it,

      be c a u s e n o t a l l of them get it, it's a two - wee k

      co u r s e t h a t i s HIPAA -based and not scenario -ba sed.

                   A n d t h ere is almost no TBI or PTSD

      tr a i n i n g i n a n y of that.       So I think we need to

      lo o k b a c k a t c a n this model work?            Does it need to

      be s t a f f e d d i f f erently?     The selection pr ocess --you

      go t d r i l l - - p e o p le who are pulled out of drill

      se r g e a n t s c h o o l that were put into the WTU.         That's

      an e n o r m o u s s h i ft of focus.       So I think that's

      so m e t h i n g t h a t we need to really look at.

                   A p r o g ram evaluation for any of this stuff

      ha s b e e n l a c k i n g.   We've created all these thi ngs

      wi t h t h e r i g h t intentions, but we really haven't

      lo o k e d t o s e e i f any of it's working.            Whether it's

      to o l i t t l e r e s o urces that you experienced, Pam, or

      to o d i f f i c u l t , too many to navigate, the end result

      is t h e s a m e .

                   W h e n I talk to the young spouses,

      pa r t i c u l a r l y , a nd most of these spouses are under




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      25 , t h e i r s k i l l set is not going to be that high

      an y w a y , a n d t h e n they're in a position where

      th e y ' r e d e a l i n g with their soldier who has unseen

      in j u r i e s a n d , y ou know, injuri es that you can see,

      an d t h e y j u s t d on't have the skill set to do it.

                   R i g h t now there is an FRSA, which is a

      Fa m i l y R e a d i n e s s Support Assistant, that is taking

      ca r e o f o v e r a thousand family members.            She is a

      GS -6 .

                   C o l o n e l Larsen, the WTU Commander, as ked

      fo r G S - 9 , w h i c h I think, Sergeant Major, you guys

      ha v e a t t h e W o u nded Warrior Regiment.          I think you

      ha v e a 9 .    I t ' s just, right now, it's not possible

      th e w a y t h i s i s set up for people not to fall

      th r o u g h t h e c r a cks.

                   A n d t h e last thing I'll say is in term s of

      im p l e m e n t i n g a n d really integrating mental health

      an d b e h a v i o r a l health where it counts, the ADLs,

      th e A c t i v i t i e s of Daily Living that is based on how

      yo u g e t y o u r N M A orders, your non - medical atte ndant

      or d e r s , t h e y ' r e all physically -based.

                   S o , f o r instance, if someone can't get to




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      th e s h o w e r o r u se the toilet on their own, that can

      be - -y o u h a v e t w o of those, and then you get NMA;

      ri g h t , C h a r l e s ?

                     W e l l , if we're really talking about PTSD

      an d T B I , w h i c h can be debilitating, that should be

      ad d e d a s a n A D L so that, for instance, if you have

      a y o u n g s o l d i e r who has serious TBI or PTSD, he

      li t e r a l l y c a n n o t do for himself.        He's going to

      ne e d a n N M A , a n d then that ends up being at the

      di s c r e t i o n o f t he particular PCM.          There's no

      ac t u a l p o l i c y b ehind it .

                     A n d t h e last thing I'll say is that the

      ca d r e n e e d s m o r e support.     They are overwhelmed.

      Th e y n e e d m e n t a l health support as well, respite

      ca r e a s w e l l .

                     Thanks.

                     M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:       Kristy, I will

      ad d r e s s j u s t - -t hanks for that, Kristy.         I will

      ad d r e s s t h e p e r formance measures piece because I

      th i n k t h a t ' s c r itical.

                     L i k e I said before, there are some great

      pr o g r a m s o u t t h ere, but a lot of programs just for




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      th e s a k e o f , y o u know, that have been reactive as

      op p o s e d t o p r o a ctive.

                     A n d C h arles and I have particularly seen

      th a t i n o u r d e a lings with Walter Reed and the

      Wa l t e r R e e d s c a ndal.     There are just, you know, oh,

      we h a v e t o p u t this band -aid on it so you have the

      WT U s , y o u h a v e AW2, and you have a lot of folks

      wo r k i n g w i t h i n these groups that are rea lly trying

      to d o s o m e g o o d , but like you said, they pull them

      ou t o f d r i l l s c hool or I don't know where they get

      th e m f r o m , a n d they don't have the proper OJT.

                     T h e y d on't have the proper training to

      fo c u s o n f o l k s dealing with Post Traumatic Stress

      Di s o r d e r a n d m i ld to moderate TBI like my husband

      ha s o r s o m e o t h er things.

                     O n e o f the critical pieces in my

      ba c k g r o u n d i s i n research, and it is egregious to

      me t h a t a l o t o f these programs don't have rigorous

      pe r f o r m a n c e m e a sures, rigorous outcome measures to

      se e i f t h e y ' r e really effective, if they're really

      do i n g a n y t h i n g .   You have all these programs, and

      ev e r y o n e i s l i k e, oh, we're doing wonderful things.




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      Ar e y o u r e a l l y doing wonderful things?

                   Y o u k n ow, can you say that?            Can you show

      me t h e s t a t s ?   Can y ou show me the metrics tha t

      yo u ' r e r e a l l y d oing what you're supposed to be

      do i n g ?   A n d i f you're not, move the hell over.

      Th a t ' s w h a t I ' m tired of, you know.

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   M R . C A MPBELL:      Time for one more question.

                   M S . K A UFMANN:      Oh, sorry.        I just wante d

      to s a y o n e m o r e thing, is that's leading to a real

      ad v e r s a r i a l r e l ationship between the cadre and the

      WT c o m m u n i t y , a nd we saw that with the Colorado

      ar t i c l e a c o u p l e months ago, and we really need to

      do a f t e r- a c t i o n reports on family members and WTs

      th a t g o o u t s i d e to the media and calling General

      Ch i a r e l l i a n d g oing up.    Instead of saying, well,

      th e y ' r e j u s t c a using trouble, we need to really

      un d e r s t a n d w h y they felt they had to go outside the

      li n e s b e c a u s e r ight now, there is a dangerous mix,

      an d i t ' s g e t t i n g more volatile, and Pam and

      Ch a r l e s , y o u c a n speak to that.           And it's an

      ad v e r s a r i a l r e l ationship that's not healthy.




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                     M R . C A MPBELL:     Let me just say a couple

      th i n g s .       I ' v e b een in this job, this is my sixth

      we e k , a n d o n e o f the responsibilities tha t this

      of f i c e h a s i s t o ensure that the number of programs

      ac r o s s t h e s e r v ices are consistent, and they're

      be i n g c a r r i e d o ut in a way that is in the best

      in t e r e s t o f t h e patients and their families, in

      th i s p a r t i c u l a r case.

                     W T U i s specifically Army progra m, and

      we ' r e l o o k i n g a t that right now, looking at all the

      di f f e r e n t p r o g r ams, to ensure that this is

      ha p p e n i n g .    S o I'd be happy to get your information

      an d g e t b a c k t o you with some hard programs that

      we ' r e g o i n g t o set up to ensure that a lot of this -

      - w h a t P a m i s t a lking about, performance

      me a s u r e m e n t , w e 're obviously looking at that as

      we l l , a n d w e t h ink that's very important.           And so

      I' d b e h a p p y t o entertain your questions.

                     W e l l , I think that is it.         Oh, one more

      qu e s t i o n .

                     M S . S A WYER:     Hi.   My name is Andrea

      Sa w y e r , a n d m y husband was medically retired, and




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      he i s 1 0 0 p e r c e nt permanent and total vet.

                     M y q u e stion for you is TRICARE recently

      ap p r o v e d m a r i t a l therapy for Active Duty members

      an d t h e i r s p o u s es if there is a mental health

      di a g n o s i s .

                     M y q u e s tion is, is there a reason it

      wa s n ' t e x t e n d e d to those who were retired because

      ce r t a i n l y w h e n my husband was retired for his

      il l n e s s , o u r p r oblems didn't stop the day that he

      re t i r e d , y o u k n ow.       It certainly -- his being wo unded

      ha s p u t a s t r e s s on our family and our marriag e,

      an d i s t h e r e a move possibly in the future that you

      kn o w a b o u t t o e xtend that to retired, at least to

      ou r w o u n d e d w a r riors?

                     M R . C A MPBELL:        You know, I'm having a hard

      ti m e u n d e r s t a n d ing.     Could I get your question?

                     M S . S A WYER:       Sure.      TRICARE recently

      ap p r o v e d t h e m a rital therapy for Active Duty

      so l d i e r s , m a r r i age therapy, to pay for that.

                     I s t h e re a move to extend those benefits

      to r e t i r e d s o l d iers and their families?           Because

      cu r r e n t l y m y w o unded warrior, we go to marital




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      th e r a p y , w e p a y for it out of our pocket, and our

      pr o b l e m s s t e m f rom his injury.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:      To be honest, I don't know

      th e a n s w e r t o t hat, but I'd be happy to get you a

      re s p o n s e .

                     S S G E G GLESTON:       I think part of that

      pr o b l e m i s T R I C ARE.     I wish there was more than one

      sy s t e m , y o u k n o w, rather than one source, that we

      co u l d u s e i n t h e military.           I would like to propose

      tw o o r t h r e e d i fferent sources so you can choose

      th e b e s t i n s u r a nce for you as well.

                     J u s t l ike I believe we should go in with

      th e A i r F o r c e W TU system because they put medical

      pe r s o n n e l w h o u nderstand the medical dictation all

      th e w a y d o w n t h e grassroot rather than giving you

      an i n f a n t r y c o m mander, rather than giving a

      tr a n s p o r t a t i o n commander.      You need someone who can

      in t e r f a c e w i t h the doctors, and after we get o ut as

      a w o u n d e d w a r r i or or dismiss ourselves from the

      mi l i t a r y , w e n e ed a heave to the Marine Corps

      sy s t e m w h o t r a c ks you for at least ten years.

                     T h e y m ay sure this soldier is working




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      so m e w h e r e .   T h e y help him get a job.          They b ud dy

      sy s t e m t h i s s o l dier because I have Marine friends

      wh i l e I w a s i n Walter Reed, and these guys, I'm so

      en v i o u s o f t h e s e two components.            Air Force, I hate

      th o s e g u y s t o d eath because they've been babied.

      Bu t t h e y t a k e c are of them like they're supposed to

      be t a k i n g c a r e .

                     M a r i n e Corps, hate those guys because

      th e y ' r e b e i n g b abied, but they've tracked these

      gu y s t h e r e s t o f their life and do what they're

      su p p o s e d t o d o .     They make sure these guys succeed,

      no t d e c l i n e a n d kill themselves.             Do you all guys

      ge t t h e p i c t u r e ?    This is heartfelt; this is not

      so m e f u n i n t h e jungle type stuff for me because I

      se e s o m a n y o f my friends lose their life.

                     M R . C A MPBELL:     Charles, thank you very

      mu c h .    A n d I w a nt to thank members of the panel,

      MO A A a n d U S N I f or invit ing us today.             Thank you.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:           Ladies and

      ge n t l e m e n , t h e r e's a takeaway from this, and I

      wo u l d h o p e t h a t all of you would think about it.




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                  T h e r e ' s an expectation on all our parts.

      Th e e x p e c t a t i o n is that if you move from the

      se r v i c e s i n t o y our community, that you're going to

      be a b l e t o l i v e as productive a life as a citizen,

      as a v e t e r a n , a s you can possibly do, and that

      th e r e i s t h e e x pectation among panel members and

      am o n g t h o s e i n the audience that there will be

      re s o u r c e s a n d f acilities to assist you to get as

      cl o s e t o t h a t a s you can.

                  A n d t h at's a measure that it might well be

      th a t e v e r y o n e p uts around there because then you

      ca n d e t e r m i n e j ust how close you're getting to it.

                  W e ' r e now going to take a 15 - minute br eak

      to s p e a k t o a l l of our friends here, and we'll ask

      yo u t o g a t h e r b ack about 11:20.

                  T h a n k you.

                  [ W h e r e upon, a short break was taken.]

                  V A D M R YAN:     Okay, folks.         We're going to

      go a h e a d a n d g e t started because we have so much --

      ok a y .   C a n w e p lease sit down ?

                  A s p e o ple are making it to their seats, I

      ju s t s e e o n e V I P after the other.           We would take




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      th e w h o l e r e s t of the day to talk about all the

      ve r y i m p o r t a n t personnel here.           We're so grateful

      th a t y o u ' r e s t a ying with us.          You're the folks that

      ca n h e l p u s m a k e an impact.

                     A n d I want to thank some of the sponsors

      th a t h a v e a l r e a dy made an impact, and we'll meet

      so m e o f t h e m a g ain, some of our great sponsors --

      TR I W E S T , a n d w e 'll mention them again.              They will

      sp o n s o r o u r l u n ch.       CACI International, Express

      Sc r i p t s a n d H e a lth Net.       Could you all just wave

      yo u r h a n d s s o w e can thank you all?

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      All right.          It's time to

      in t r o d u c e o u r s econd panel discussion "Confronting

      th e R e i n t e g r a t i on Process - Embracing the

      Ex p e r i e n c e . "

                     A n d I was just t alking here with Alex

      Qu a d e , w h o i s g oing to be the person to run this

      pa r t i c u l a r p a n e l, and she said don't read my whole

      bi o g r a p h y .       S o I will just tell you that, as you

      kn o w , s h e r e p o r ts for CNN.         She has been overseas

      wi t h o u r f o r c e s in Afghanistan and Iraq, 18 mo nths




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      on a n d o f f .     S h e has been imbedded with every

      se r v i c e t h a t w e have fighting these wars.

                     A U D I E N CE PARTICIPANT:        Bad choice of

      wo r d s .

                     V A D M R YAN:      No, it isn't.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      She has also won an award from

      th e C o n g r e s s i o n al Medal of Honor Society, Tex

      Mc C r a r y A w a r d f or Excellence in Journalism.             I'm

      go i n g t o g e t r i ght with it and let you welcome

      wa r m l y A l e x Q u a de.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      What's wrong with "imbedded"?

                     M S . Q U ADE:      The Admiral wants to know

      wh a t ' s w r o n g w i th "imbe dded"?         I think it's just

      th e t e r m i n o l o g y sometimes.

                     B u t I wanted to thank all of you for

      at t e n d i n g t h i s today because, first of all, on the

      ev e o f t h e a n n i versary of another 9/11 anniversary,

      th e d i s c u s s i o n s that we are having today are so

      im p o r t a n t .

                     A s a w a r reporter, the organizers asked me




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      to t a l k a l i t t l e bit about what I've seen and how

      th a t a p p l i e s t o all of this.         As a war reporter,

      I' v e h a d a u n i q ue view of all the angles from

      do w n r a n g e w i t h the troops to back at home with them

      on t h e h o m e f r o n t.

                   F r o m c aregivers to policymakers, from

      co m m a n d i n g g e n e rals to veterans, from corporations

      to c h a r i t a b l e o rganizations, I've witnessed some

      am a z i n g t h i n g s , but not all of it is good,

      es p e c i a l l y w h e n it comes to the unseen injuries of

      PT S D a n d T B I a n d reinte gration.

                   N o w t h is is my observation, but what I've

      se e n i s t h a t t h e cookie cutter approach does not

      ne c e s s a r i l y w o r k in the continuing care of these

      tr o o p s b a c k i n t o their units nor does it work with

      th e c o n t i n u i n g care of vets and their families back

      in t o t h e c i v i l i an community.

                   A s I s aid, the Defense Forum asked me to

      gi v e y o u a s t o r y, one example that walks us through

      th e r e i n t e g r a t i on process and covers where things

      st a n d a n d m a n y of the issues that this terrific

      pa n e l t h a t w e ' r e going to be discussin g today.




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                      S o f o r your background, I was imbedded in

      Af g h a n i s t a n d u r ing a huge air assault operation in

      He l m a n d P r o v i n c e.   It involved Rangers, Special

      Fo r c e s , a n d t h e 82nd Airborne's 1st and 508

      Pa r a c h u t e I n f a n try division -- I'm sorry -- Regiment.

                      N o w , t he h elicopter that I was suppose d to

      be o n w a s s h o t down by the Taliban, and it killed

      ev e r y o n e o n b o a rd.     By the way, a lot of that

      cl a s s i f i e d i n f o rmation from that operation made

      ne w s r e c e n t l y o n WikiLeaks.

                      A n y w a y , back home I followed up with

      ev e r y o n e o n t h a t mission, and one of the helic opter

      pi l o t s i s a l l o w ing me to share his story of

      re i n t e g r a t i o n w ith you since again it covers many

      of t h e i s s u e s t hat we will be talking about today.

                      I n h i s words:      "Alex, my perspective is

      th e A r m y i s a c t ually trying to take care of

      re t u r n i n g s o l d i ers, but the ball gets dropped soon

      af t e r r e t u r n i n g home.     The Army's way of checking

      th e b o x w a s f o r me to fill out a post -deployment

      qu e s t i o n n a i r e .   I checked the box that I did want

      to s e e a c o m b a t stress counselor when I got ho me.




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      Ev e n d u r i n g d e m ob, they asked to do I want to see a

      co u n s e l o r ?   I s aid yes.       I talked with a person for

      30 m i n u t e s , a n d that was it.           The Army never

      fo l l o w e d t h r o u g h.

                     " A l e x , this is especially important for me

      be c a u s e I w a s i n the National Guard a nd I was

      re t u r n i n g t o c i vilian life.         Yes, there are

      re s o u r c e s a v a i l able in the pamphlets they gave me,

      bu t n o p o s t - d e p loyment care for me to just roll

      in t o .    J u s t a ' thanks for serving and see ya.'

                     " A l e x , after a few months, it took a

      cr i s i s f o r m e t o br eak down and call the Milit ary

      On e S o u r c e h o t l ine.     They talked with me and set up

      so m e f r e e s e s s i ons with a local counselor.             The

      fi r s t s e s s i o n d id not turn out very well.            I still

      re m e m b e r t h e s h ocked look on her face as I

      de s c r i b e d t h e e vents during my deployment.             Sh e was

      to t a l l y u n p r e p a red to work with a combat vet.              She

      wa s a m a r r i a g e counselor, not a combat stress

      co u n s e l o r , a g a i n no process to help the returning

      ve t .

                     " A l e x , if I had had a leg blown off, they




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      wo u l d h a v e k e p t me on Active Duty till t hey

      me d i c a l l y b o a r d ed me.   For some reason, mental

      he a l t h i s s u e s , they let go till the soldier gets

      in t o c r i s i s m o d e, which can be too late for some.

      Fo r m e , w h e n I was in crisis mode, dealing with the

      PT S D a n d t r y i n g to seek help, I didn't have the

      st r e n g t h a t t i m es to care for myself.

                   " I r e m ember my call to the Vet Center.       I

      go t t h e f r o n t d esk and asked to talk with someone.

      Th e y s a i d a c o u nselor will call you back in a few

      da y s .   I j u s t h ung up, pissed off, aggravated.

      Al e x , i t t o o k m e another week t o get up the co urage

      to c a l l b a c k a n d get the ball rolling."

                   N o w , t hat helicopter pilot story

      re p r e s e n t s w h a t many of these troops and their

      fa m i l i e s a r e g o ing through trying to reintegrate

      wi t h u n s e e n i n j uries.

                   I a s k e d some of the Medal of Honor

      re c i p i e n t s a n d their families about these issues,

      an d t h e y s a y t h ey want you to know that even some

      of t h e m h a v e h a d difficulties over the years.

                   O n e s a id that maybe communities need to be




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      mo r e a w a r e o f t he stressors of PTSD or TBI so we

      ca n a l l d e a l w i th thing s such as suicides,

      su b s t a n c e a b u s e , marital relationship discord and

      di v o r c e r a t e s .

                       N o w , a ll of this, of course, requires

      ch a n g e s d e s p i t e DoD budget cutbacks and upcoming

      el e c t i o n s .     A n d that's why we're here today, to see

      wh a t ' s w o r k i n g , what recommenda tions we can ma ke

      fo r t h e t r o o p s and their families, and what

      co m m a n d e r s , l e a ders, policymakers and communities

      ca n d o t o t r y t o make the transition seamless.

                       A n d s i nce I'm a reporter, I'll all about

      ne w s y o u c a n u s e so on this panel so we have hand -

      se l e c t e d s o m e a mazing folks, each an expert in

      th e i r o w n w a y o n different angles, different

      as p e c t s o f r e i n tegration within the military and

      th e c i v i l i a n w o rld, and I'm going to bounce around

      a l i t t l e b i t , b ut out of courtesy, I always like to

      st a r t w i t h o u r wo unded warriors.

                       F r o n t and center there, we have Michael

      Sc h l i t z .       M i c h a el is a recently retired wounded

      wa r r i o r w i t h a long medical road ahead.         As a




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      fo r m e r A r m y R a n ger and Sergeant First Class in 10th

      Mo u n t a i n , M i c h a el is adapting to this change in

      mi s s i o n .

                       B e t w e e n ongoing surgeries, he is going out

      an d s p e a k i n g t o troops about reintegration and

      su i c i d e p r e v e n t ion, even going back to Iraq where

      he w a s h i t b y a n IED to talk to troops there.

                       A n d o n his right is Ms. Robbi Schlitz,

      Mi k e ' s o p t i m i s t ic mom and full -time caregiver.

      Fr o m g o i n g t h r o ugh the process with her son, Robbi

      to l d m e t h a t t h ey've been blessed because, she

      sa y s , w h e n y o u look at Mike, you know he's injured

      an d t h e r e f o r e c an get help.

                       B u t s h e worries about those who have

      un s e e n i n j u r i e s and their families who also ne ed

      he l p r e i n t e g r a t ing.

                       A n d d o wn on the end, we have Ms. Mariette

      Ka l i n o w s k i , f o r mer Marine Reservist.         Mariette

      br i n g s a u n i q u e perspective on reintegration as a

      fe m a l e w o u n d e d warrior, as a full - time student and

      as a m e n t o r a t her college helping other

      tr a n s i t i o n i n g v eterans.




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                     M a r i e t te struggles with PTSD and TBI and

      is l e a r n i n g h o w to cope with life after the

      mi l i t a r y o n c a m pus before tackling the job market.

                     A n d r i ght next to her, we have Mr. Mike

      Da b b s , w h o w a n t ed me to m ake sure and tell you he's

      no t a d o c t o r , h e's a mister, so Mr. Mike Dabbs

      wo r k s w i t h t h e DoD, the VA and charitable

      or g a n i z a t i o n s i n his role as President of

      Mi c h i g a n ' s B r a i n Institute of America.

                     H e ' s e stablished public - private

      re l a t i o n s h i p s t o care for wounded warriors and

      th e i r f a m i l i e s because he's worried about the VA's

      li m i t e d c a p a b i l ities, and Mike recently testified

      be f o r e t h e S e n a te Veterans Affairs Committee on all

      of t h i s .

                     A n d l a stly, here to my right, we have

      Ca p t a i n K e y W a t kins, who started t he Navy's Sa fe

      Ha r b o r P r o g r a m - -very important -- which coordinates

      th e n o n -m e d i c a l care of wounded, ill and injur ed

      sa i l o r s , C o a s t Guardsmen, and their family members.

                     A n d g e t this, it's for life.      This

      in c l u d e s a r e t u rn to work program, back into the




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      ci v i l i a n c o m m u n ity, and Captain Watkins has

      re c o m m e n d a t i o n s for folks reintegrating and is even

      ta l k i n g a b o u t - - this is a tease -- talking about

      tr y i n g t o g e t s ome government -funded job coach es

      fo r t r o o p s w i t h PTSD to keep them going.

                     S o , w e are going to start wi th Mr. Mike

      Sc h l i t z , a n d h e 's going to tell us a little bit

      ab o u t h i m s e l f , and then we'll just kind of bounce

      ar o u n d .

                     S F C S C HLITZ:   Once again, I'm retired

      Se r g e a n t F i r s t Class Michael Schlitz.       I was

      in j u r e d i n F e b r uary '07 in the South Baghdad

      Pr o v i n c e b y a n IED explosion.         My primary injury

      wa s b e i n g b u r n e d on 85 percent of my body, which

      wh e n y o u ' r e b u r ned you usually go to Brooke Army

      Me d i c a l C e n t e r in San Antonio, Texas.

                     W h e n w e're talking about the reintegration

      pr o c e s s , I f e e l like there's many di fferent

      pr o c e s s e s o r s t eps to that reintegration.       The

      fi r s t r e i n t e g r a tion you go through is the fact that

      on e d a y y o u ' r e on the battlefield, and the next day

      yo u ' r e l y i n g i n a hotel room or -- excuse me --




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      ho s p i t a l r o o m h ooked up to a bunch of a machines

      an d p e o p l e s t a n ding over you.

                   I t ' s a shock that, you know, you just, you

      kn o w , a l l y o u c an think about is where's my guys or

      ho w a r e m y g u y s doing?       Are they able to continue

      th e m i s s i o n w i t hout me?

                   S o i t ' s important that we get our military

      un i t s i n v o l v e d right off the get -go and have not

      ju s t m i l i t a r y l iaisons coming in to see the

      so l d i e r s , b u t t o have those units' Rear Ds send

      so l d i e r s d o w n a nd visit them in the hospitals so

      th e y s e e f a m i l i ar faces, so they see familiar

      pa t c h e s , s o t h a t they get the feel that the

      mi l i t a r y u n i t i s still considering them part of the

      fi g h t .

                   A f t e r you get out of the hospital, the

      ne x t s t e p i s g e tting back up on your feet as an

      ou t p a t i e n t , a n d that means going to your

      ap p o i n t m e n t s , s o that you become functional, but it

      al s o m e a n s g o i n g back out into the world and into

      th e p o p u l a t i o n where people are going to look at

      yo u , n o t n e c e s s arily as a person anymore, but as a




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      co m b a t v e t e r a n , or as just a guy who has been

      wo u n d e d .

                       S o w e have to set up things to get

      so l d i e r s c o m f o r table with being out in the wor ld

      ag a i n , a n d o n e main way we do that is through

      ci v i l i a n o r g a n i zations and nonprofits.   You know,

      th e y t a k e t h e m on fishing trips; they take them on

      hu n t i n g t r i p s .   It's not just for the pure, you

      kn o w , e n j o y m e n t or because it's y our hobby.    It

      ge t s y o u o u t a n d about around people again and gets

      yo u t a l k i n g t o others, not just about injuries, not

      ju s t a b o u t y o u r experiences, but just everyday

      th i n g s a g a i n , a nd that's very important.

                       S o , y o u know, the government does a good

      jo b g e t t i n g u s back on our feet, but we have to

      re l y o n s o m e c i vilian organizations to help

      re i n t e g r a t e u s back in.

                       A f t e r you start going to your

      ap p o i n t m e n t s , s ooner or later, you're going to have

      to s t a r t l o o k i n g am I going to reintegrate back

      in t o t h e u n i t o r am I going to go ahead and retire?

                       A n d f o r me, it was my choice to go ahead




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      an d r e t i r e s o I started through the Medical Board

      pr o c e s s , a n d t h ey've made some great changes.     I

      me a n p e o p l e w h o went through the Board process in

      20 0 4 , 2 0 0 5 , 2 0 0 6, on the old system, you hear a lot

      mo r e h o r r o r s t o ries about what they went through.

                       B e i n g on the new program, it was slimmed

      do w n .    F r o m t h e time I started it to the time I

      fi n i s h e d w a s t h ree months, and I had my rating.       So

      I r e a l l y c a n ' t complain, and I'm not goin g to

      co m p l a i n a b o u t the system because in some ways it's

      wo r k i n g .

                       B u t w i th that said, because you can see my

      in j u r i e s , I m e a n the minute I walk in the room,

      ey e s u s u a l l y g o on me, and there could be somebody

      wh o h a s P T S D , T BI or other unseen injuries, who

      mi g h t b e i n w o r se conditions than me, sitting in

      th e c o r n e r w a i t ing for their turn, but because they

      ca n s e e m y v i s u al scars, I usually get put in

      be f o r e t h e m , a n d that's something that we have to

      ta k e a l o o k a t and understand as professionals that

      it ' s n o t a l l j u st on the outside.

                       A n d t h en integrating back into civilian




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      li f e .    I t ' s a s cary thought, I mean especially if

      yo u ' v e s e r v e d , you know, two years, and you knew

      ri g h t o f f t h e g et -go all you wanted to do was do

      yo u r 2 0 y e a r s a nd retire from the milit ary, yo u

      kn o w .    A f t e r t w o years of serving, you're like,

      ma n , w h a t a m I going to do?           That's all I ever

      wa n t e d t o d o .

                       T h e n y ou have those career professionals

      wh o , y o u k n o w , spent 20 years in, and now they have

      to f i g u r e , o k a y , what am I going to do next?          It's

      a s c a r y w o r l d o ut there.       And one of the things

      th a t w e h a v e t o rely on is mentorship, sponsorship,

      yo u k n o w , d o n ' t send these people out in the world

      wi t h o u t s o m e b o d y who's ready to back them up, and

      th e r e ' s a l o t o f programs out there that are

      wi l l i n g t o d o t hat.

                       T h e p r oblem is a lot of the times when

      yo u ' r e g o i n g t h rough the hospital transition, you

      ha v e a m i l l i o n case managers looking over your

      sh o u l d e r r e a d y to do everything, basically all your

      bi d d i n g .    I m e a n I couldn't even make my own

      ap p o i n t m e n t .   I had somebody doing that for me, and




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      wh e n I d i d m a k e my own appointment, I got yelled at

      fo r m a k i n g m y o wn appointment.

                      A n d i n some cases, you do need to do that.

      So m e o f t h e y o u nger soldiers might not want to do

      th e i r o w n a p p o i ntments, some of the TBIs and PTSDs

      mi g h t n o t b e a b le to remember to do their own

      ap p o i n t m e n t s .   So on an individual case, you'll

      ha v e t o d o t h a t .

                      B u t t h ere's several of us that you don't

      ne e d t o d o t h a t to.       You have to remember just

      be c a u s e w e ' r e w ounded doesn't mean we 're not

      so l d i e r s .    Y o u got to stop coddling them; you got

      to m a k e t h e s o l diers still act like a soldier,

      st i l l g o o u t a n d make his appointments, go to his

      ap p o i n t m e n t s , a nd do the things that he needs to do

      an d b e c o m e m o r e proactive.

                      O f t e n t imes you'll see guys that will just

      si t t h e r e a n d w ait for the government to take care

      of t h e m o r w a i t for these programs to come find

      th e m .     T h a t ' s t he wrong answer.

                      W e h a v e to start pushing it upon these

      gu y s r i g h t o f f the get -go that they need to be




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      pr o a c t i v e , a n d th at if they think they have an

      is s u e , t r y t o r esearch it a little bit and find

      th o s e p r o g r a m s that can help them because there are

      a l o t o f p r o g r a ms, and there's definitely a lot of

      ci v i l i a n o r g a n i zations out there ready to step up

      in a h e a r t b e a t where the government can't quit e do

      it y e t .

                     W e c a n 't expect the government just to fix

      ev e r y t h i n g .   W e have to rely on support, and a lot

      of t h e s u p p o r t we have is from the people sitting

      in t h e a u d i e n c e right here, and I know for one I'm

      ve r y g r a t e f u l f or that.       S o, again, it's a tea m

      ef f o r t , e v e r y b o dy needs to be involved, and for

      ev e r y b o d y t h a t is involved, I'm thankful.        So thank

      yo u .

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M S . Q U ADE:      I'm standing up here because I

      ca n ' t s e e y o u a ll, so I'm going to stand up here,

      bu t I ' d l i k e t o turn n ow to Ms. Robbi Schlitz, who

      is M i c h a e l ' s m o m, who has the caregiver

      pe r s p e c t i v e , b u t also goes through things on her

      ow n a s w e l l .




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                   M S . S C HLITZ:     Hello, everyone.

                   I ' m s o glad to be here.             I, as a

      ca r e g i v e r , I v e ry seldom get a chance to speak.

      I' m t h e o n e b e h ind Michael.        I'm the one sitti ng in

      th e c o r n e r w a i t ing to do what he needs to have

      do n e .

                   O n F e b ruary 27, 2007, Michael was injured,

      an d a s a p a r e n t , I got the call that nobody wants

      to g e t , a n d t h e call came quickly.             It was in a

      ma t t e r o f h o u r s from the time of the incident.             So

      he w a s n ' t e v e n to Baghdad at the time that I got

      th e c a l l .   H e w as still out in the war zone proper,

      an d t h e y h a d n o clue.

                   I t t o o k till March 2 for him to arrive at

      BA M C , a t B r o o k e Army Medical Center.           At that time,

      I w a s l i v i n g i n northern California, and I was

      wa i t i n g b e c a u s e they didn't know where to send me.

      So I w a i t e d .   I ended up in Brooke Army Medical

      Ce n t e r , a n d a s a civilian, I can tell you that

      en t e r i n g t h e A r my world is scary.

                   [ L a u g h ter.]

                   M S . S C HLITZ:     I t hought I knew my




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      al p h a b e t , b u t t heir acronyms got me.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M S . S C HLITZ:     And the only thing I learned

      is t h a t a s a m o m, I outrank a lot of people, and I

      us e d i t .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M S . S C HLITZ:     I am very proactive.      If I

      do n ' t k n o w s o m e thing or I want something, I'm not

      ab o v e a s k i n g f o r it, and I will continue to ask

      un t i l I g e t t h e answer I want or they quit talking

      to m e , w h i c h e v e r comes first.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M S . S C HLITZ:     But for Michael, it has been

      di f f e r e n t f o r u s.    I've been called "Mom" by many

      at B r o o k e A r m y Medical Center, by the younger

      so l d i e r s w h o d i dn't have the family or the spouse

      th e r e t o h e l p t hem, and I became the substitute.

      Mi c h a e l w a s i n ICU for six months.            And the limited

      vi s i t i n g h o u r s allowed me time away from the

      ho s p i t a l , a n d t hat time was used with the youn ger

      so l d i e r s .

                     A n d I have seen all kinds of things, and




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      ou r y o u n g e r o n e s need to be nurtured.        They're

      st i l l b a b i e s .   I know they're going to hate me for

      th i s , b u t M i c h a el had 14 years in.        We knew that

      ev e n t u a l l y t h e law o f averages said that somet hing

      co u l d h a p p e n , a nd so I prepared myself for this, of

      co u r s e , h o p i n g that it would never happen.

                     W h e n y ou have someone who is 18, 19 years

      ol d , t h e y ' r e i n vincible, they don't believe that

      th e w o r l d i s g o ing to reach up and bit e them, and

      wh e n i t d o e s , i t's unfathomable for them, and they

      st i l l n e e d t h a t mother figure, that nurturing, and

      he l d b y t h e h a n d and led to things because left on

      th e i r o w n a c c o r d, it's not fun.

                     T h a t ' s when the trouble starts.      That's

      wh e n t h e d r i n k i ng starts.     That's when the other

      th i n g s s t a r t .   So we need to reach out and make

      su r e t h a t w e n o t take them and carry them to their

      pl a c e s .   I ' m n o t saying that, but we do need to

      ju s t k i n d o f g e ntly shove them in the right

      di r e c t i o n , a n d as far as me person ally -- as a wife

      of a s e r v i c e m e m ber who is injured or even a wife of

      a s e r v i c e m e m b e r , period, you, as a wife, you have




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      on e s e t o f r u l e s, you have one set of -- what do I

      wa n t - - b e n e f i t s .   As a mother, I'm an outsider.

                      M i c h a e l is single, and I stepped in.

      T h a n k G o d I w a s able to.           I feel for the parents

      wh o h a v e s m a l l young children still at home, and

      th e y ' r e n o t a b l e to step up the way I was.           It was

      no c h o i c e f o r m e, but to step in because the

      al t e r n a t i v e f o r Michael would have been continued

      ho s p i t a l c a r e a nd place.

                      A n d i t is a known fact that once a

      se r v i c e m e m b e r i s released from the hospital into

      th e c a r e o f a f amily member or members, they start

      im p r o v i n g q u i c k ly.    The rate of recovery is so much

      fa s t e r .    W h e n M ichael was out of the, released from

      th e h o s p i t a l , h e was wheelchair bound.           His wound

      ca r e t o o k s i x h ours.         Within six weeks, he was out

      of t h e w h e e l c h a ir.      His wound care was down to

      ab o u t t w o h o u r s .

                      N o w , t he transition going from being

      Ac t i v e D u t y i n t o retirement, I haven't noticed it.

      To m e , l i f e g o e s on the same.             I'm grateful that I

      ha v e a s o n l i k e Michael who because I have not had




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      he a l t h i n s u r a n c e for three years, I have been

      un e m p l o y e d f o r three years, plus years, since the

      in c i d e n t , h e i s taking care of me, and that I can't

      te l l y o u w h a t t hat means at all.

                     W e ' r e not used to asking for handouts.             We

      ta k e c a r e o f o u r own.        It's just been the way that

      we a r e .         B u t t h ere are others who really need the

      he l p t o h a v e , y ou know, when you have an 18 -ye ar-

      ol d , y o u ' r e l i k ely to have small children still at

      ho m e .     W h e n I l eft home at 18, I had a younger

      br o t h e r n i n e y e ars younger than me.              So I had one

      in e l e m e n t a r y s chool, I had two in middle school,

      an d I h a d o n e i n high school.               I had four younger

      br o t h e r s .     I f t he roles had been reversed and my

      pa r e n t s h a d t o come to help, there is no way they

      wo u l d b e a b l e t o.

                     S o w e kind of need to keep into focus, you

      kn o w , w h a t a r e the needs?          Ask.        A lot of times in

      go o d i n t e n t i o n s , we offer things, but is it what's

      re a l l y n e e d e d ?

                     T h a n k you.

                     M S . Q U ADE:     Robbi, thank you very much,




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      Ro b b i .

                    [ A p p l a use.]

                    M S . Q U ADE:      Very important part of this

      di s c u s s i o n t h a t sometimes gets overlooked, that the

      ca r e g i v e r s a l s o need care and in the future as

      we l l .

                    A n d n o w I'm going to turn down to the end

      wi t h M s . M a r i e t te K alinowski, who brings a ver y

      un i q u e p e r s p e c t ive to this reintegration issue and

      un s e e n i n j u r i e s issue.

                    M s . M a riette.

                    M S . K A LINOWSKI:       Hello.        I'm thankful for

      th e h o n o r o f s p eaking here today.

                    I e n l i sted in the Marine Corps Reserves in

      20 0 2 a n d g r a d u a te d boot camp on Paris Island in

      Ja n u a r y 2 0 0 3 .   I first deployed to Iraq to Al -

      Ta q a d d u m i n A u g ust 2005 where I was attached to an

      MP u n i t , s p e c i a lizing in convoy security.            During

      my d e p l o y m e n t , I filled the role of everything from

      a H u m v e e d r i v e r up to a ma chine gunner.

                    S o I h ave firsthand experience of that

      tr a n s i t i o n a l g e neration of women veterans who have




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      se e n d i r e c t c o m bat.       So my perspective on

      tr a n s i t i o n d e f i nitely takes on more of a gender

      pe r s p e c t i v e .   I t definitely considers more of the

      im p a c t o f b e i n g a woman veteran rather than just a

      co m b a t v e t e r a n .

                     M y t r a nsition also was a little, it was a

      li t t l e h e s i t a n t .    I was also, I was not willing to

      ad m i t t h a t I h a d trouble.           Following my first tour,

      I i s o l a t e d m y s e lf.      I started self -medicating with

      al c o h o l a n d w i t h other means, and it actually took

      an i n t e r v e n t i o n from my mother who was willing to

      st e p u p .      Yeah.        She threatened to speak with my

      Fi r s t S e r g e a n t which for a Marine is --

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M S . K A LINOWSKI:        You don't do that.   And I

      sp o k e w i t h a t h erapist who actually specialize d in

      ch i l d a b u s e s o I also had an experience with a

      th e r a p i s t w h o w as not necessarily prepared the kind

      of s t r e s s I w a s under.

                     I t w a s n't until I met Dr. Roger Sherwood

      of t h e C U N Y S y s tem, or City University of New York,

      wh o w a s s p e a r h e ading a program called PROVE,




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      Pr o j e c t f o r R e t urning Opportunities in Veterans

      Ed u c a t i o n , i n w hich I found a purpose.

                   I r e t u rned to school, I became a

      st u d e n t / v e t e r a n mentor, and I now assist fellow

      ve t e r a n s i n t h e ir transition from the milit ary

      li f e s t y l e , n o t only into civilian but also into the

      hi g h e r e d u c a t i o n lifestyle.

                   S o m y experience with transition is

      fi n d i n g a p u r p o se once you're out of the military

      of t e n c a n l e a d to a more positive transition.          But

      it ' s d e f i n i t e l y ongoing.

                   O n e o f the things I'm now willing to admit

      is m y t r a n s i t i o n will always -- it will continue for

      th e r e s t o f m y life, and that needs to be addressed

      wi t h a l l v e t e r a ns of all injuries because the kind

      of e x p e r i e n c e s today's generation of servicemembers

      ar e g o i n g t h r o u gh, it's not going to go away.

                   D e n i a l might put it, stamp out for a

      li t t l e b i t , b u t it's always going to come back, and

      of t e n t i m e s i t w ill be exacerbated the less

      at t e n t i o n i t g e ts.

                   S o o n e of the things that I am trying to




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      ad d r e s s w i t h m y veterans group at Hunter Colle ge is

      an e x t e n s i o n o f the battle buddy system from the

      mi l i t a r y t o t h e civilian lifestyle because in the

      mi l i t a r y , v e t e r ans, we learned how to be reliant

      up o n o u r s e l v e s , be strong when necessary, but also

      to r e l y u p o n t h e team.

                    S o t a k ing t hat experience and extendin g it

      in t o t h e c i v i l i an lifestyle, make sure that that

      on g o i n g p r o c e s s of transition, the one that will go

      on f o r t h e r e s t of their lives, is given the

      at t e n t i o n i t n e eds.

                    T h a n k you.

                    M S . Q U ADE:      Thank you, Mariette.

      Ma r i e t t e , I j u s t wanted to also, you're struggling

      wi t h a T B I i n j u ry or coming to terms with that as

      we l l .

                    M S . K A LINOWSKI:        Right.        I actually, I

      wa i t e d u n t i l I was basically out of the Marine

      Co r p s t o a d d r e s s my medical issues --PTSD, TBI.              And

      I a m c u r r e n t l y pursui ng a disability claim, an d

      pa r t o f t h a t r e ason is I didn't, I didn't want to

      be l a b e l e d .   T h ere is this pervasive sense of with




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      th e d i s a b l e d v e terans that we're somehow damaged,

      th a t w e w i l l n o longer be fit for living in

      so c i e t y .

                       S o e a r ly on in my career , I didn't wan t to

      be a s s o c i a t e d w ith that.          I denied that I had PTSD.

      I d i d n ' t w a n t t o admit that my continued memory and

      ba l a n c e i s s u e s were the result of being near

      co n c u s s i v e f o r c es of IEDs.         So my reluctance to

      se e k c a r e i s i t makes me a little more f amiliar

      wi t h t h e r e t i c e nce of my fellow veterans.

                       S o I c an encourage them through my own

      ex p e r i e n c e t o n ot wait, not let those symptoms

      ex a c e r b a t e a n d make it harder to seek treatment

      be c a u s e i t ' s a l so the confidence thing.            The longer

      yo u w a i t , t h e l ess confidence you might have t o

      se e k t h a t t r e a t ment.

                       M S . Q U ADE:     And that's where Mr. Mike

      Da b b s c o m e s i n , as President of the Brain Injury

      As s o c i a t i o n i n Michigan.          You've been addressing

      so m e o f t h e s e t hings with Ms. Mariette.

                       M R . D A BBS:     Indeed.

                       W e l l , t hank you very much.         I would like




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      to c e r t a i n l y t h ank the U.S. Naval Institute and the

      Mi l i t a r y O f f i c e rs Association for the opportunity

      to b e p a r t o f y our conference today, and believe

      me , i t i s a h u g e honor and a privilege for me to be

      si t t i n g a m o n g t he people that are flanking me today

      as w e l l .    I q u i te frankly am very humbled by all of

      yo u .

                     I m u s t tell you as I look at around the

      ro o m a n d r e a l i z e so many of you are in the military

      or r e c e n t l y r e t ired perhaps or still have some

      ca p a c i t y w i t h t he milita ry, this is probably t he

      gr e a t e s t m i l i t a ry audience I've been around since

      my d a y s w h e n I was a captain in the field artillery

      in E u r o p e , a n d I never thought I would have this

      ch a n c e a g a i n , b ut it's great to be here with you.

                     I ' l l t ell you, I come to this whole is sue

      by w a y o f t w o , really two reasons.         One, by nature

      of m y j o b , a n d I'll explain that very briefly in a

      mo m e n t , b u t I t hink perhaps underlying it is

      be c a u s e o f m y f ather, who was a World War II vet

      an d w a s o n e o f the very early ones that was

      di a g n o s e d w i t h 100 percent disability rating by the




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      VA f o r P T S D i n the late '60s.

                     T h a t w as very, very difficult to come by

      fo r h i m , a n d l i ke the folks that have mentioned

      al r e a d y , i t ' s h ard for any veteran to acknowledge

      wh a t i s s u e s t h e y may be dealing with, and it was

      fo r m y f a t h e r w ho served in the Marines at

      Gu a d a l c a n a l .

                     B u t b o ttom line was he couldn't hold a

      jo b , a n d i t c r e ated a lot of issues within our

      fa m i l y , a n d i t was a constant battle, and had it

      no t b e e n f o r a county VA counselor who personally

      t o o k h i s f i g h t through the VA system to get him the

      di s a b i l i t y r a t i ng, his life wouldn't have been even

      ne a r a s g o o d a s what it ultimately was.

                     B u t , a nd this is a really big "but," in my

      mi n d , p a r t o f t hat answer was to pump him with

      dr u g s a n d m a k e him eff ectively a zombie, compliant,

      co m p l a c e n t , a n d just to handle his issues in a very

      lo w - k e y w a y f o r the remainder of his life.

                     W h e n h e and my mother moved into a nursing

      fa c i l i t y , r e t i r ement center, my dad ended up in an

      as s i s t e d l i v i n g area, and one of th e first thi ngs




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      th e y d i d w a s b a ck him off the drugs, and the

      nu r s e ' s c o m m e n t to me he's got enough drugs in him

      to k i l l a h o r s e ; what in the heck is going on here?

                   A n d s o they over time backed him off the

      dr u g s , a n d f o r the last four years of his life, he

      ha d p r o b a b l y t h e best quality of life that he had

      en j o y e d s i n c e e ffectively 19 -- late '40s, early

      '5 0 s .

                   S o t h e re's a lot of good that does go on,

      bu t n o t n e c e s s a rily is it always directed the right

      wa y .     A n d i t ' s to that end, our Brain Injury

      As s o c i a t i o n i n Michigan -- and believe me, I am

      ta l k i n g w i t h a very parochial view, that of from

      Mi c h i g a n- - i s o n e of 44 state affiliates of the

      Br a i n I n j u r y A s sociation of America, and I would

      su g g e s t y o u c a n keep that association name in mind

      be c a u s e i t c e r t ainly could serve as a resource for

      th o s e o f y o u t h at live in other states or even

      ar o u n d t h e i m m e diate Washington area.

                   O u r a s sociation, though, is one of only

      ab o u t f o u r o r f ive that have really embraced or

      tr i e d t o e m b r a c e the veterans' issues.   And one of




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      th e w a y s t h a t w e've done that is we've created a

      ve t e r a n s p r o g r a m.

                    M a j o r Rick Briggs is in attendance, and I

      wo u l d i n v i t e y o u to meet with him to learn a little

      mo r e a b o u t w h a t he is doing personally.       But he is

      ve r y , v e r y p a s s ionate about the care of our

      ve t e r a n s , a n d a s Sergeant Schlitz mentioned

      ea r l i e r , t h e n e ed for recreational opportunities is

      pa r a m o u n t i n w h at Rick is doing.

                    A l s o , he's advocating on their behalf at

      th e l o c a l V A a n d at the Veterans Integration

      Se r v i c e N e t w o r k , where we have connections, al ong

      wi t h t h e M i c h i g an Department of Military Affairs,

      an d f i n a l l y o n e of the key things that also brought

      us t o W a s h i n g t o n is to come up to Capitol Hill and

      ta l k t o s o m e o f our Senators from the Michigan

      Co n g r e s s i o n a l D elegation and Representatives about

      th e s e r i o u s n e e ds that our veterans still have.

                    B u t o n e thing I'd like to mention to

      re a l l y k i n d o f put this session perhaps in a little

      bi t b e t t e r u n d e rstanding is brain injury is new.

      Th e w o r d " t r a u m atic brain injury" was not even




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      re c o g n i z e d u n t i l eff ectively Iraq and Afghanis tan.

                    H o w e v e r, to give you a sense of just how

      ne w i t i s , f o r some of you who have as much gray

      ha i r a s m e , y o u might recall the days of President

      Re a g a n ' s P r e s s Secretary Jim Brady being shot here

      in W a s h i n g t o n .   Effectively, tha t day marked the

      fi r s t d a y o f b r ain injury rehabilitation as we know

      it .

                    P r i o r to that, 50 percent of those that

      su s t a i n e d a b r a in injury ended up in nursing homes.

      Th e o t h e r 5 0 p e rcent died.         It is really quite that

      ea s y .

                    S o I t ell you that because when we talk

      ab o u t s t i g m a a n d societal change, we're talking

      ab o u t s o m e t h i n g that is still new in the public's

      mi n d , a n d i t ' s going to take time for that to

      ch a n g e , j u s t a s it did for breast cancer.            Again,

      as I g r e w u p , n o one spoke about breast cancer.                  If

      a n y t h i n g t h e y c alled it the "C."          But that's where

      we a r e w i t h b r a in injury today.

                    I ' v e g ot a bunch of things I'd like to

      sa y , b u t l e t m e just wrap it up with two things.




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      On e , w i t h a l l o f the tremendously good programs

      th a t p e r h a p s m a ny of you represent in this roo m,

      th e f a c t i s , i n my opinion, at least, you can't do

      it a l l .    I t w o n 't be achieved, and the veterans'

      ca r e w o n ' t g e t better until we open the doors to

      ge t t i n g a n d w o r king with all assets that are out

      th e r e .

                    T o g i v e you a case in point, Michiga n has

      ov e r 1 0 , 0 0 0 w o r kers in the brain injury

      re h a b i l i t a t i o n field, just in Michigan.        What is it

      in y o u r s t a t e ?   I dare say you don't know.           I would

      in v i t e y o u t o f ind out.

                    G r a n t e d, Michigan is blessed to have such

      a h u g e i n d u s t r y of brain injury rehabil itation , and

      I w o n ' t , I ' l l b e happy to share why in a bit, but

      bo t t o m l i n e i s , we are unique to be certain, but

      th e b o t t o m l i n e is there are far more assets out

      th e r e o u t s i d e o f the VA than within the VA or

      wi t h i n D o D .

                    A n d t h e other comment I would like t o make

      wo u l d b e t o h a r ken back to the comments of Sergeant

      Eg g l e s t o n a n d h is wife earlier.          It is time that




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      th e r e i s a s e n s e of urgency.            This war is over nine

      ye a r s o l d .     I t is long, too long to still be

      si t t i n g h e r e t a lking about this.

                     W e n e e d to move and move with great sp eed,

      an d i f i t w e r e , if I were empowered, if I were on

      th e p l a n n i n g c o mmittee for the U.S. Naval Institute

      an d M O A A f o r n e xt year's conference, I would say

      yo u k n o w w h a t , let's parade all 500 of us who

      at t e n d e d t h i s y ear's conference and report what we

      di d ; w h a t d i f f e rence did we make?            I will leave you

      wi t h t h a t a s a challenge.

                     M S . Q U ADE:     Well, and somebody who is

      tr y i n g t o d o e v erything, that you'll look at every

      po s s i b i l i t y , e v ery asset, you'll look outside the

      bo x , i s C a p t a i n Key Watkins, head of the Navy Safe

      Ha r b o r P r o g r a m .

                     C A P T W ATKINS:      Hello, everyone.

                     I w a n t to say thank you to each and

      ev e r y o n e o f y o u that sit out there because

      ev e r y b o d y t h a t ' s here is trying to accomplish the

      sa m e m i s s i o n t h at I am.

                     I h a v e been give n the awesome




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      re s p o n s i b i l i t y and the tremendous privilege to take

      ca r e o f t h e N a v y's and the Coast Guard's seriously

      wo u n d e d , i l l a n d injured servicemembers and their

      fa m i l i e s .   I t ' s a very large job, and like has been

      sa i d b e f o r e , I can't do it by myself.       It take s

      ev e r y b o d y t o w o rk together towards the same end for

      us t o b e a b l e t o accomplish it.

                     W h e n I got the job, I met Dr. Lynda Davis,

      wh o i s s i t t i n g over here, and early on she accused

      me o f b e i n g a d octor.       I'm not a doctor.    I have no

      qu a l i f i c a t i o n s in medicine, and in my opinion, that

      ma k e s m e e m i n e n tly qualified to do this job because

      I s e e i t a s n o t hing more than what we call in the

      Na v y a s " d e c k p l ate leadership" or Leadership 101.

                     I t ' s t he very basic essence of what

      le a d e r s d o : t a k e care of the ir servicemembers.       In

      th e N a v y , a C h i ef Petty Officer is responsible to

      ta k e c a r e o f h i s sailors that work for him, and

      th a t ' s w h a t w e do.    The difference is, is that we

      do i t 2 4 h o u r s a day, seven days a week, and my

      pe o p l e t h a t w o r k for me get really go od at it

      be c a u s e t h e y ' v e become experts at it.




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                     W h a t w e do is we provide a lifetime of

      in d i v i d u a l l y t a ilored assistance for the

      se r v i c e m e m b e r a nd their families, and that's

      im p o r t a n t b e c a u se every single one of these young

      me n a n d w o m e n c ome back, they hav e a different

      pr o b l e m , t h e y h ave a different set of

      ci r c u m s t a n c e s , so we have to tailor what we do

      di f f e r e n t l y f o r every single one of them, and we do

      th a t b y t a l k i n g to them, by sitting down and

      un d e r s t a n d i n g w hat their needs are.

                     I ' v e b een in the Navy a lmost 35 years now,

      an d I ' v e h a d a lot of different jobs.               I'm a Naval

      av i a t o r b y t r a d e.   Before that, I was a deep - sea

      di v e r , a n d w h e n ever I had a new job, I would always

      ca l l m y m o m u p and say I got a new job; I'm going

      to b e a d e e p -s e a diver.        You remem ber Lloyd Br idges

      on T V ?      A n d s h e understood that.           When I told her I

      wa s g o i n g t o b e a pilot, that's pretty easy to

      un d e r s t a n d .

                     W h e n I got this job, I didn't really know

      wh a t t o t e l l h e r it was so I thought and thought

      an d t h o u g h t a b o ut it, and the only thing I cou ld




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      co m e u p w i t h w a s concierge service.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     C A P T W ATKINS:        After that much time in the

      Na v y , y o u d o n ' t really want to call Mom and say,

      he y , M o m , I ' m a concierge.              But about my second

      we e k o n t h e j o b , I go down to Quantico to meet with

      Co l o n e l G r e g B o yle who at the time ran the Wounded

      Wa r r i o r R e g i m e n t and he's giving me his command

      br i e f .

                     A b o u t slide 16 or 17, it says "five star

      co n c i e r g e s e r v i ce."     I figure, well, if a Marine

      Co l o n e l c a n c a l l himself a concierge, what the

      he l l , s o c a n I .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     C A P T W ATKINS:        So that's what it is.    The

      th i n g a b o u t t h a t, though, and my staff gets really

      ma d a t m e b e c a u se I say we don't really do

      an y t h i n g .   W e j ust make sure things get done.              Now

      I k n o w t h e y ' r e out there working their butts off

      e v e r y d a y , m a k i n g sure these things get done, but we

      do n ' t p r o v i d e a ny services, and what that really

      me a n s i s I d o n ' t own anything other than a handful




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      of p e o p l e w h o s it down and work with sailors and

      Co a s t G u a r d s m e n and their families.

                    W e h a v e morale welf are recreation to h elp

      wi t h t h e t h i n g s that they do.       We have Navy family,

      Fl e e t a n d F a m i l y Service Centers, who take care of

      th e f a m i l y s t u f f, the child care.         Navy Medicine

      ta k e s c a r e o f a ll the medical care.           We just kind

      of o r c h e s t r a t e what's going on between all the se

      di f f e r e n t o r g a n izations.

                    I d o n ' t own any pay.       I can't pay anybody.

      I d o n ' t o w n a n y of the benefits.           The benefits come

      fr o m t h e V A , S o cial Security Administration, et

      ce t e r a , s o o n a nd so forth.

                    I d o h ave a lawyer, but he doesn't have

      an y c o n t r o l o v e r making anything happen in the

      le g a l f i e l d .   H e can just advise me on how we get

      it d o n e b e s t .

                    S o w e try to look at everything

      ho l i s t i c a l l y f r om beginning to end, from tooth to

      ta i l , a n d m a k e sure that all of their needs are

      pr o p e r l y a s s e s s ed, and that all their needs ar e

      be i n g m e t , a n d the critical thing with that is it




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      ta k e s e v e r y s i n gle one of you for us to be

      su c c e s s f u l .

                     I a l w a ys say that I partner with anybody

      wh o ' s w i l l i n g t o do something for a sailor or a

      Co a s t G u a r d s m a n .   It doesn 't matter who they a re.

      We w o r k v e r y c l osely with the VA and the Department

      of L a b o r .         I n f act, Department of Labor has loaned

      me a y o u n g g e n t leman to come over and help us with

      em p l o y m e n t .     W e are working on different projects

      su c h a s j o b c o a ches for fol ks with PTSD because

      it ' s r e a l l y h a r d.     If you can focus 15 minutes out

      of e v e r y h o u r , that's good if you've got PTSD.

                     B u t i f you're an employer and you need an

      ho u r ' s w o r k o u t of somebody, it's kind of tough to

      ge t t h a t .         A j o b coach can help somebody al ong with

      th a t a n d g e t a little more bang for the buck for

      th e e m p l o y e r , a nd sooner and later maybe that young

      sa i l o r o r C o a s t Guardsman or soldier or airman or

      Ma r i n e w i l l b e able to put in more than 15 minutes

      an h o u r o f w o r k and focus.

                     O n e o f the things that keeps me up at

      ni g h t o r u s e d t o keep me up at night was the




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      ha n d o f f f r o m D o D care to VA care.         And when a

      sa i l o r o r a C o a st Guardsman leaves the service, are

      we j u s t k i n d o f pushing them out the door?            So the

      fi r s t t h i n g w e decided to do was to enrol l our guys

      an d g a l s f o r l i fe.

                       A n d w h at does that mean?       We're always

      go i n g t o b e a v a ilable for them, as long as it

      ta k e s , b u t w h e n they reintegrate back into the

      lo c a l c o m m u n i t y , we can't sit down right in front

      of t h e m a n d b e with them on a regular basis an d

      ma k e s u r e e v e r y thing is going well because you have

      to l o o k a g u y i n the eye and see what's going on in

      hi s h e a d t o k n o w what kind of help they really

      ne e d .

                       S o I c ame up with this program.         I call it

      th e A n c h o r P r o g ram, and it's a lot like the Sponso r

      Pr o g r a m .    I f y o u've been in the service and you get

      or d e r s o v e r s e a s , you get off the airplane and

      so m e b o d y i s t h e re to meet you at the airport.            They

      ta k e y o u b a c k t o the temporary lodging facility,

      he l p y o u g e t c h ecked in; they meet you the next

      mo r n i n g ; t h e y s how you around the neighborhood,




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      in t r o d u c e y o u t o people, take you to your job, et

      ce t e r a , e t c e t e ra.

                     W e l l , my concern was a sailor was getting

      of f t h e p r o v e r b ial bus with the sea bag slung over

      th e i r s h o u l d e r , the bus drives away, and there's

      no b o d y t h e r e t o meet them in the community.        So we

      de c i d e d t o c o m e up with a mentor program.

                     N o w , t he other thing that concerned me

      ab o u t h a v i n g m e ntors, you know, I had a lot of

      vo l u n t e e r s t h a t were old retirees, like I'm going

      to b e h e r e i n t he near future , but our guys ar e 25,

      26 , 2 7 y e a r s o l d.      They're not going to want to

      ha n g o u t w i t h m e.      I've got a 22 -year -old son who's

      ab o u t t o b e c o m missioned in the Army.         If he's

      hu r t , h e ' s n o t going to want to hang out with an

      ol d g u y .    S o I decided that we really need to find

      a n e a r - p e e r i n d ividual to be a mentor.

                     T h e o t her thing that concerned me with

      re t i r e e s , I h a v e no command and control over them.

      I c a n ' t t e l l t h em what to do, when to do it, how to

      do i t , a n d t h e y don't have to tell me anything.

                     S o I w ent l ooking for the Navy Reserve to




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      he l p m e , a n d t h ey volunteered, and now what we're

      do i n g i s w e ' r e pairing a near -peer drilling Na vy

      Re s e r v i s t w i t h an old retiree like me, pulling

      th e i r f a m i l i e s together, and assigning them to a

      sa i l o r w h o i s t ransitioning ba ck into the loca l

      co m m u n i t y , a n d they're there, they can help them,

      th e y c a n t e l l t hem where the good schools are,

      wh e r e t h e g o o d shopping is, where to go to church,

      wh e r e t o m e e t t heir needs, and maybe help that

      sa i l o r o r C o a s t ie find a job.

                     O r b e t ter ye t, if the sailor or Coastie is

      no t a b l e t o w o r k, maybe the spouse of the mom may

      ne e d a j o b , a n d they have job connections because

      th e y ' v e l i v e d i n the community for some time.       So

      it ' s a n a l l a r o und win -win situation.

                     T h e o t her thing we do with that pro gram is

      we p a r t n e r w i t h organizations like Quality of Life

      Fo u n d a t i o n .   I t 's a unique organization in that

      th e y p u l l t o g e t her the resources of many

      fo u n d a t i o n s , 5 0 1(c)(3)s, and they focus it on

      fa m i l i e s a n d f a milies that are in the community,

      in t e g r a t i n g b a c k into the local community.




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                     I f y o u 're a spouse of a wounded warrior

      an d y o u n e e d t i me to go to commissary or go grocery

      sh o p p i n g , t h e y ' ll make arrangements to help you go

      do t h a t .    T h e y ' ll come and spend time with your

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r so that you can do that.     If y ou

      ne e d y o u r g r a s s cut, and you just don't have time

      to g e t y o u r g r a ss cut, they'll help you find

      so m e b o d y t o c u t your grass.

                     W e w o r k with a lot of other organizations.

      We w o r k w i t h a group called the Mission Continues.

      It ' s a n o u t s t a n ding org anization.     A lot of us

      st i l l h a v e a l o t left to give back to our country,

      an d w e ' r e n o t n ecessarily ready to hang up our

      gu n s , a r e w e ?

                     W e m a y want to do something else, but we

      ca n ' t s e r v e i n the military anymore, but we can

      se r v e o u r c o u n t ry somehow, and the Mission

      Co n t i n u e s h e l p s facilitate that by giving

      fe l l o w s h i p s o r internships with a small stipend to

      he l p o f f s e t s o m e of the costs.     So you can give

      ba c k .   W e h a v e guys that are helping train service

      do g s t o g o t o o ther wounded warriors.




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                    W e h a v e guys that -- and gals -- that work

      wi t h v e t e r a n s , wounded warriors, on rehabilitative

      ho r s e b a c k r i d i n g.     I've got one young gentleman, a

      fo r m e r M a r i n e u p at Bethesda, who is working for

      us , a n d a l l h e does is sit and listen to people

      ta l k .    H e s i t s down with our s ailors, our Coas ties,

      an d t h e i r f a m i l y members, and just let's them get

      th i n g s o f f t h e i r chest, and he just listens and

      te l l s t h e m w h a t he went through, and it's a really

      gr e a t o r g a n i z a t ion.

                    A n d t h en there's other fantastic

      or g a n i z a t i o n s , like Navy Safe H arbor Foundatio n,

      wh o i s f o c u s e d on supporting the folks enrolled in

      my p r o g r a m .     T h e Wounded Marine Semper Fi Fund is

      an o t h e r g r e a t o rganization.           Obviously, all the

      se r v i c e s h a v e t heir Veteran Service Organizations.

      We h a v e N a v y M a rine Corps Relief Socie ty, and the

      li s t g o e s o n .

                    S o A m e rica is behind us in accomplishing

      ou r m i s s i o n , a n d we couldn't do it without you.            So

      do n ' t q u i t n o w .

                    M S . Q U ADE:        Thank you.




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                     S i n c e we are trying to be very forward

      lo o k i n g , I w a n t to know from each of our panel

      me m b e r s , i f y o u could change one thing, be king for

      th e d a y , c h a n g e one thing that would help folks

      wi t h u n s e e n i n j uries going through this

      re i n t e g r a t i o n p rocess, whether it's back into the

      mi l i t a r y , o r i n to the civilian community, years

      fr o m n o w , w h a t would you ch ange?

                     A n d I ' m just going to go right down the

      li n e .    S o M s . M ariette.

                     M S . K A LINOWSKI:   Well, certainly in my

      ca s e , I w o u l d t ry to change some approach to women

      ve t e r a n s a n d t h e women who are among the wounded

      wa r r i o r s .   I n t he military, women often in or der to

      be s u c c e s s f u l h ave to toe that masculine/feminine

      li n e .    T h e y h a v e to take on a lot of qualities that

      he r e i n s o c i e t y would seem a little masculine in

      or d e r t o b e s u c cessful.      They have to lift more.

      Th e y h a v e t o k e ep up with the guys.

                     I n m y cas e-- the numbers are different for

      al l t h e b r a n c h e s, but in the Marine Corps, it's

      ge n e r a l l y , t h e number is women are outnumbered




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      ab o u t 1 2 t o o n e so we're always competing against

      th o s e g e n d e r n o rms whether or not they're right.

                 S o t h e re's a lot of habits t hat women form

      in t h e m i l i t a r y that will extend into their

      ci v i l i a n l i v e s that will complicate things.     We are

      st i l l o u t n u m b e r ed in the VA system so that's going

      to j u s t g e n e r a l ly give us a sense of disadvantage.

      We ' r e j u s t g o i n g to feel like we're not as, we

      do n ' t h a v e a s m uch attention as say the men.

                 A l s o , just, in general, society does not

      eq u a t e w o m e n w i th veterans.   When you say "veteran"

      to t h e a v e r a g e pedestrian on the street, they're

      go i n g t o e n v i s i on a very well -built man with a crew

      cu t o r a f a d e t hat fills that stereotype.         So when

      I' m w a l k i n g d o w n the street, I'm not, it's not

      as s u m e d t h a t I served in the military.

                 S o i f there's one thing that I could

      ch a n g e , i t ' s j u st that society line of what

      co n s t i t u t e s a v eteran, where does, where should

      t h a t c o n s i d e r a t ion of who is a veteran, who is

      in j u r e d , w h e r e should that line be drawn?     There

      re a l l y s h o u l d n ' t be a line at all.




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                     A l s o , that whole invisible injuries --I

      kn o w M s . E g g l e s ton doesn't like that term -- but I'm

      al s o , i t ' s s o m e times difficult in the VA to ev en

      ma k e i t a w a r e t hat I do have issues.       It's getting

      be t t e r .   I d o a gree that the VA has a lot of great

      th i n g s g o i n g f o r it.   They are forward thinking

      wi t h w o m e n ' s i s sues.

                     T h e N e w York Harbor Veterans Campuses now

      ar e c r e a t i n g w o men's clini cs in all their camp uses.

      Th e r e s h o u l d b e more pre and post - natal care.

      Cu r r e n t l y , p r e g nant veterans do have to shop out to

      ot h e r f a c i l i t i e s which comply with the VA system,

      wh i c h m a k e s i t more difficult.

                     I t w a s mentioned earlier child care

      se r v i c e s , a n d a lso one that people don't reall y

      th i n k o f i s d e n tal care.      Currently, combat

      ve t e r a n s r e t u r n ing to the states and registering

      wi t h t h e V A h a v e three months unlimited dental

      ca r e , a t w h i c h point when it is exhausted, if they

      do n o t h a v e 1 0 0 percent servic e- connected

      di s a b i l i t y , t h e y have to pay out of pocket for

      de n t a l c a r e .




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                      T h a t n ot only requires a visit to their

      pr i m a r y c a r e p h ysician to be reviewed and given an

      ap p o i n t m e n t t o dental care, but it's also a $200

      ch a r g e j u s t f o r a standard cleaning, and if yo u

      ne e d a n y o t h e r special care, that's also out of

      po c k e t .     S o d e n tal care is becoming a vital part of

      ju s t o v e r a l l h e alth with veterans.

                      T h e r e ' s PTSD.    I grind my teeth at night,

      an d I r e q u i r e a night guard.              But until I get

      re v i e w e d w i t h m y disability claim, and if I get 100

      pe r c e n t , t h e n I can get fitted for a night guard

      wi t h o u t h a v i n g to pay for it.

                      I t ' s j ust general considerations like

      th a t .       A n d I t h ink really, I think, society, if

      th e y c o u l d j u s t wake up and just accept that women

      ar e s e e i n g c o m b at, I think that would be great .

                      M S . Q U ADE:     Thank you.           Thank you very

      mu c h .

                      I a c t u ally lied.        Instead of going down

      th e l i n e , I ' m g oing to bounce to Michael Schlitz

      be c a u s e I ' d l i k e to have the other wounded warrior

      pe r s p e c t i v e .   W hat can be changed?             And also I know




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      th a t y o u ' v e b e e n talking with troops about suicide

      pr e v e n t i o n a n d how can we try to move forward?

                  S F C S C HLITZ:   Wow.     The answer to both

      th o s e t h i n g s i s education.    And as far as the

      pe o p l e w i t h t h e unseen injuries, it's educating our

      mi l i t a r y , i t ' s educating our WTUs, our WTBs, it's

      ed u c a t i n g j u s t kind of everybody.      You know we have

      su c h g r e a t m e d i a sources out there, but oftentimes

      me d i a d o e s n ' t p ut out the information that we know

      is t o b e t r u e .

                  Y o u k n ow, they put the spin on it, but if

      we c a n e d u c a t e people, look, these are the injuries

      th a t a r e c o m i n g out of Iraq and Afghanistan, these

      ar e t h e i n j u r i e s that our soldiers are facing,

      pe o p l e a r e g o i n g to be able to tell a little bit

      mo r e .

                  S o , y o u know, ask the people, you know, if

      th e y j u s t m i g h t be a little bit off, if they're in

      th e c o n v e n i e n c e store, and they're taking a little

      bi t o f t i m e p a y ing, you know, be patient, try to be

      un d e r s t a n d i n g , and maybe even ask them about it

      be c a u s e t h e y m i ght want to tell you about it.       You




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      kn o w , j u s t d o n ' t stare.    So I mean it's basic

      ed u c a t i o n .

                      A s f a r as the suicide prevention, that's a

      pr e t t y h o t t o p i c for me.    I do a little work with

      th e V A o n s u i c i de prevention.        On my three trips

      ba c k t o I r a q t h is year, I made sure every time,

      us u a l l y a b o u t a twice a day, we sat down with the

      so l d i e r s , a n d a t every meeting I sat down with, I

      al w a y s m a d e s u r e to bring it up because you got to

      br i n g i t u p b e f ore you deploy, and you got to bring

      up d u r i n g t h e d eployment, and you got to bring it

      up a f t e r t h e d e plo yment.

                      A n d i t really comes down to something as

      si m p l e s o l d i e r i ng, look to the left, look to your

      ri g h t , t h o s e a r e the guys who are going through it

      wi t h y o u , t h o s e are the guys who can help you the

      mo s t .       I f y o u f eel more comfortable going to a

      ch a p l a i n o r y o u feel more comfortable going to a

      ps y c h i a t r i s t , g reat, go for it, but nobody is going

      to u n d e r s t a n d i t better than the people who are

      go i n g t h r o u g h i t with you, and they might have

      is s u e s .




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                    S o y o u start talking out your issues;

      be f o r e y o u k n o w it, t hey're starting to talk o ut

      th e i r i s s u e s .   And you guys, you've worked out all

      th e i s s u e s w i t h out even taking a second look at it.

      Ag a i n , w i t h t h e looking to your left and right, if

      yo u s e e t h a t o t her guy going down, it's your

      re s p o n s i b i l i t y to pick him up .

                    A n d t h ere was a story in the paper, and I

      re a l l y w i s h I c ould remember the soldier's name,

      bu t h e w a s a y o ung specialist, and he had a

      ro o m m a t e w h o h e felt was going down, and nothing he

      co u l d d o w a s w o rking to talk this out.        So when the

      ki d h a d l e f t t h e room, and he took the firing pin

      ou t o f h i s r i f l e, and sure enough, that night the

      ro o m m a t e h a d t r ied to commit suicide but had no

      fi r i n g p i n t o t he rifle.

                    Y o u k n ow, it's just simple things.      Reach

      ou t a n d t r y t o understand.          Reach out and give

      so m e b o d y h e l p , and I think we can narrow this

      pr o b l e m d o w n a little bit.        But, again, education,

      an d , l i k e I s a i d, before deployment, during

      de p l o y m e n t , a n d after deployment.




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                  M S . Q U ADE:     Thank you very much, Michael.

                  I w a n t to go to your battle buddy on your

      ri g h t , y o u r m o m , Robbi.    Robbi, what would you

      ch a n g e i f y o u c ould change anything that would help

      ca r e g i v e r s a n d also for folks years from now?

                  M S . S C HLITZ:      I think today that we've

      st a r t e d i n t h a t progression of change because it

      ta k e s o n e s t e p at a ti me, and it's never as fast as

      we w a n t i t t o b e so if I had any wish, it would be

      th a t i t w a s a l r eady over and we already had it set

      up .

                  I k n o w that those that have come after me

      ha v e r e a p e d t h e benefits of those that had come

      be f o r e t h e m , a n d if each one of us has our lit tle

      pe t p r o j e c t , a n d we leave our footstep there, so

      th a t t h e n e x t p erson doesn't have to follow exactly

      in o u r s t e p s , t hey can take little detours around

      th i n g s , t h e n I think we've done our job.

                  A n d I just hope that everyone will always

      as k .   I f t h e r e ' s a need, ask.       If you want to do

      so m e t h i n g f o r s omeone, I know --ask them what c an I

      do f o r y o u ?   D o n't assume that you know what they




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      ne e d o r i f y o u ' re only able to do, if your

      ha n d s h a k e i s a l l you've got to offer, give it to

      th e m .

                    B u t I found that a lot of times people

      as s u m e t h e y k n o w what I need.          They assume that

      th e y k n o w w h a t ' s good for me.          They assume that I'm

      go i n g t o f i t i n to that box.           And when I don't fit

      in t o t h a t b o x , they're totally thrown off guard.

      Th e y d o n ' t k n o w what to do with me.

                    S o I t hink that if we stop assuming that

      we k n o w w h a t ' s best for everybody, look to those

      wh o h a v e w a l k e d the walk because they know exactly

      wh a t i s n e e d e d and what should be happening.

                    A n d a s far as those that we need to reach

      ou t t o - -e v e r y o n e.    It doesn't matter if they'r e

      mi l i t a r y o r n o t .     If they're having a bad day,

      th e r e i s n o r e a son why we can't say hello and give

      th e m a s m i l e , a nd maybe that smile is the one thing

      th a t w i l l c h a n g e everything for them that day.

                    A s f a r as being non -see n injuries, one of

      my y o u n g g u y s , and I call him "mine."            He's going

      to b e f o r e v e r m ine now.         But his mother has to




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      sh a r e c u s t o d y n ow, but he was shot in a place where

      yo u ' r e n o t g o i n g to see it.           Well, you know, the

      wo u n d h e a l e d , a nd you're not going to n otice t he

      in j u r y .     I t i s , but it's not that he wasn't

      in j u r e d .     M i c h a el's nose is six weeks old.          Please

      do n ' t p e r c e i v e that he's always had a nose.              This

      no s e i s s i x w e e ks old.

                       A n d I ' ve already noticed how people change

      th e i r r e a c t i o n towards us because now he doesn 't

      lo o k t h e s a m e .     Before he had no nose.             So you

      no t i c e d h i m , a n d everybody reached out to us

      be c a u s e e v e r y b o dy wanted their picture taken with

      th e g u y w i t h n o nose.

                       A n d n o w he's got a nose.            Well, you know,

      he ' s n o t u n u s u a l anymore.          We have to change o ur

      pe r c e p t i o n s , a n d we can't assume, and we need to

      as k .

                       T h a n k you.

                       M S . Q U ADE:     Thank you very much, Robbi.

                       I w a n t to turn to your right because

      so m e t h i n g t h a t , Mr. Mike Dabbs, you all deal with

      an d t r y t o c h a n ge is these unseen injuries and how




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      fo l k s a r e e i t h e r coping with them or what could we

      ch a n g e t o m a k e it easier for folks in the future?

                       M R . D A BBS:     Thank you, Alex.

                       L e t m e just kind of tail -end for a sec ond

      on w h a t R o b b i j ust said.            I've been the head of our

      as s o c i a t i o n f o r 18 years, and that comment 18 years

      ag o w a s p r o b a b l y one of the very first comments I

      he a r d .       I t ' s t h e fact that people look at me; they

      as s u m e I ' m o k a y .     But they don't know how I've

      ch a n g e d .

                       I t i s absolutely the toughest of all

      th i n g s f o r p e o p le with brain injur ies to deal with.

      An d l e t m e t a k e that a step further.              I would ask

      ev e r y o n e o f y o u in this room, because I believe

      th i s t i e s i n t o this conference topic, this is a

      li f e t i m e i n j u r y .   This is not just today.

                       M i c h a e l's needs or Mariette's needs will

      co n t i n u e t o c h a nge over their lifetime.           It's not

      go i n g t o b e o n e -and -done.           It's not the broken arm

      th a t ' s g o t t e n c ast and everything is working

      be t t e r .      A n d t h e neural surgeons haven't developed

      th e s c i e n c e y e t of being able to get into the brain




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      an d r e w i r e i t e xactly like it once was.

                   T h a t ' s the challenge all of us face in

      th i s r o o m b e c a u se of it being a lifetime care.

      An d , u n f o r t u n a t ely, our rules are not set up to

      ha n d l e i t a s a lifetime issue in the VA, the DoD.

                   S o t o get back to Alex's question she

      as k e d u s a t t h e start of this question session, I

      wo u l d s u g g e s t t here are changes that I want to

      su g g e s t f o r t h e individual.      For individuals to

      ac c e p t t h a t t h e y have a Traumatic Brain Injury,

      th a t i s v e r y , v ery tough.      And nothing will change

      un l e s s t h e i n d i v idual accepts the fact that th ey

      ha v e a b r a i n i n jury and they're willing to then

      st a r t t o w o r k o n rehabilitation to change it.

                   A n d I didn't know this until a couple of

      ye a r s a g o , a n d I'm a former member of the military,

      pe o p l e w h e n y o u retire do not autom atically go into

      th e V A s y s t e m .   And let me throw out a number to

      gi v e y o u a n i d e a of just how big this problem in

      th i s c o u n t r y m a y be that we haven't even tapped

      ye t .   I n M i c h i g an, we have over three -quarters of a

      mi l l i o n v e t e r a n s living in Michigan today , but yet




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      on l y o n e- t h i r d of them are registered with the VA,

      on e - t h i r d .

                     S o I w ant to suggest if we're struggling

      ri g h t n o w t o t a ke care of the people who are within

      th e V A s y s t e m , can you only imagine if we start to

      ca p t u r e a l l o f those that are eligible?

                     S e c o n d of all, I would challenge the VA.

      Th e V A c a n n o t h andle all of the needs of the

      so l d i e r s , p e r i o d.   It cannot.       I don't care how

      ma n y b u i l d i n g s you build, I don't care how many

      pe o p l e y o u h i r e , you're not going to do it.          So

      bo t t o m l i n e , l e t's star t using the assets that are

      wi t h i n t h e l o c a l communities to augment the VA.

                     I u n d e rstand the VA's been mandated by

      Co n g r e s s t o t a k e care of the soldiers.          I'm not

      su g g e s t i n g t h a t that change.         I'm simply suggesting

      th a t t h e y e x e r c ise getting all of the re sources

      av a i l a b l e a n d u tilize them and then monitor the

      so l d i e r ' s p r o g r ess within those other systems of

      ca r e .

                     M S . Q U ADE:     Mike, I'm going to ask --

                     M R . D A BBS:     Please.




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                   M S . Q U ADE:     -- Captain Watkins about tr ying

      to u t i l i z e m o r e of these assets since I kn ow that

      th a t ' s s o m e t h i n g that you very much work on.

                   C A P T W ATKINS:      Well, that's true.   Like I

      sa i d e a r l i e r , i t takes everyone out here to

      ac c o m p l i s h o u r mission.     And we do work very

      di l i g e n t l y w i t h , again, anybody who is willing to

      he l p a s a i l o r o r a Co astie has access to me an d my

      pr o g r a m a n d m y people.

                   Y o u t a lk about things that you would

      ch a n g e i f y o u c ould press the easy button and

      ch a n g e i t , t h e speed of change that you brought up,

      Ro b b i .   I ' m a p ilot so nothing ever goes as fast as

      I' d l i k e i t t o , but I don't see a way to fix t hat.

      I t h i n k t h a t s o me things just take time to get

      ri g h t , b u t s p e e d of change is important.

                   I f w e don't keep the pressure on and keep

      th e p u s h o n o u r individual organizations to force

      ch a n g e t o o c c u r faster than it would on its own

      ac c o r d , w e w o n ' t get what we need, we won't get to

      wh e r e w e n e e d t o be when we need to be there.

                   A n d t h e other critical thing that I think




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      is r e a l l y i m p o r tant that I would change if I had a

      ma g i c w a n d i s p eople.       What makes any organization

      su c c e s s f u l a t w hat it does is the quality and the

      ca l i b e r o f t h e people that are in the organization,

      th e i r d e s i r e t o serve, their desire to accomplish

      wh a t e v e r y o u r m ission may be.

                     M y b i g gest challenge is selecting the very

      be s t f o l k s t o b e a part of my organ ization and then

      re t a i n i n g t h e m .   It's very difficult.        We do a one

      of a k i n d m i s s i on in the Navy.            Almost everybody in

      th e N a v y h a s a specialty.           Nobody in the Navy comes

      in t h e N a v y t o be specialized in taking care of

      wo u n d e d , i l l a n d injured sailors on the non -me dical

      si d e .

                     S o t h e re's no career path.         The system of

      re w a r d s d o e s n ' t exist.     We don't have a good means

      to m a k e s u r e t h at, you know, spending a three -year

      te r m a t S a f e H a rbor is not detrimental to your

      ca r e e r .   F o r a n aviator to take three year s out of

      hi s c a r e e r p a t h is potentially dangerous unless

      th e y ' r e a n o l d guy like me, then you got nothing to

      lo s e .




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                  B u t a young guy who's really outstanding

      in w h a t t h e y d o , it's going to be detrimental to

      th e m .   S o w e n e ed to make sure that we have a mean s

      to m a k e s u r e t h at we're not hurting people's

      ca r e e r s , b o t h c ivilians or military, so we get the

      ve r y b e s t , w e a ttract and retain the best and the

      br i g h t e s t f o l k s to do this type of work.

                  W o u n d e d warriors are great employees.

      Th e y ' v e b e e n t h ere, they kn ow what's going on, but,

      yo u k n o w , f r a n k ly, not all of them want to do this.

      A l o t o f t h e m w ant to go off and do something else,

      an d s o w e h a v e to utilize the resources that we

      ha v e a v a i l a b l e to us, and that's just one thing

      th a t I w o u l d c h ange if I could wave the magic wand.

                  M S . Q U ADE:     Thank you.           Thank you very

      mu c h , C a p t a i n W atkins, and for everybody on our

      pa n e l , I t h o u g h t that everybody had such an

      im p o r t a n t p o i n t of view on this panel that we just

      le t t h e m h a v e a ll the time to be able to tell their

      st o r i e s t o y o u , and the kind of recommendations and

      th e t h i n g s t h a t they can offer on this whole

      re i n t e g r a t i o n p rocess from all these different




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      an g l e s .

                     S o I e ncourage you to seek them out after

      th e p a n e l a n d a sk your personal questions because

      th e s e a r e j u s t great folks, and as we go through

      th i s r e i n t e g r a t ion process, something that came to

      mi n d t o m e t h a t I think applies to everybody in

      th i s p r o c e s s , w hether it's policymakers, whether

      it ' s w o u n d e d w a rriors, whether it's veterans,

      wh e t h e r i t ' s l e aders, th ere was a quote from m y

      la t e m e n t o r , M e dal of Honor recipient Bob Howard,

      an d h e t o l d m e , and I think this applies to

      ev e r y b o d y w h o ' s in this room and going through this

      pr o c e s s , t h a t " when it is obvious that the goals

      ca n n o t b e r e a c h ed, do not adjust the goals, adjust

      th e a c t i o n s t e p s."

                     S o t h a nk you all so much for being part of

      th i s i m p o r t a n t discussion and thank you to our

      gr e a t p a n e l .

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      Okay.    I'm going to call Tom

      up f o r s o m e a d m inistrative remarks.            But, wow, what

      a t e r r i f i c j o b by all of you.           Alex, you did a




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      fa n t a s t i c j o b , and to the other great Americans up

      he r e , t h a n k y o u , thank you, thank you, for your

      in s p i r i n g l e a d e rship and example.

                     H o w a b out one more round of applause?

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            While Nor b is

      ha n d i n g o u t a l l of those books, he always lets me

      ha v e s o m e o f t h e best parts of the script, and mine

      no w i s a b o u t l u nch, and I know none of you are

      in t e r e s t e d i n t hat, but I'm going to press on

      an y w a y .

                     I f y o u will, the lunch is a buffet, and we

      wi l l a s k t h e t a bles here in the front to get up as

      so o n a s I ' v e f i nished and move on out to the

      bu f f e t , a n d f o r the tables as you move back, if you

      wi l l w a i t u n t i l our ushers come to your table, then

      ev e r y b o d y c a n g et through the line quickly and come

      ba c k w i th t h e i r food, and we'll have some semb lance

      of t e m p o r a r y o r der.

                     T h a n k you very much, and we thank TRIWEST

      fo r t h e i r o p p o r tunity to host lunch for us.

                     [ W h e r e upon, at 12:36 p.m., the Defense




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      Fo r u m r e c e s s e d , to reconvene at 1:13 p.m., in

      Lu n c h e o n S e s s i o n.]




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                       L U N C H E O N             S E S S I O N

                                                             [1:13 p.m.]

                    M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:             I hope you all

      en j o y e d t h e l u n ch, and if you did, when you see the

      fo l k s w h o r e p r e sent TRIWEST walking around, pat

      th e m o n t h e b a c k and thank them a lot because

      th e y ' r e t h e o n e s who helped it happen.

                    O u r l u ncheon keynote address is a dynamic

      du o t h i s a f t e r n oon.     We weren't content with one

      ma j o r r e p r e s e n t ative for the Army.           We got two in

      th e b a r g a i n .

                    G e n e r a l George W. Casey and his wife

      Sh e i l a h a v e b e e n with us forever being an Army brat

      an d s e r v i n g a l ifetime as a soldier.               General Casey

      is t h e 3 6 t h C h i ef of Staff of the Army.               His

      bi o g r a p h y i s i n your program.

                    S o l e t me turn to the power in the family

      an d t e l l y o u t h at Sheila Casey represents som ething

      th a t d e s p i t e t h e fact that they've been with the

      Ar m y a l m o s t 4 0 years really is what we see more and

      mo r e t o d a y i n a ll the services, and that is she has

      a l i f e a n d a c a reer in her own right in addition to




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      wh a t s h e d o e s w ith the General.

                     A n d s h e is an honor graduate of the

      Un i v e r s i t y o f C olorado in accounting and has served

      in v a r i o u s l e a d ership positions, both on her own,

      an d i n d o i n g t h ings with the military.           Today she

      al s o m a n a g e s a s the publisher/chief operating

      of f i c e r f o r T h e Hill newspaper.

                     S o w h e n you look at her, she looks a lot

      li k e f o l k s w h o are the generations behind her that

      sh e a d v i s e s , y o ung people who have separate

      ca r e e r s , c h i l d r en, have spouses deployed in combat,

      an d s o t h e y h a v e a very different and unique

      pe r s p e c t i v e a s they bot h helped to lead the Army in

      wh a t i s n o w o n e of the longest engagements that our

      so l d i e r s h a v e b een in in the history of the

      Re p u b l i c .

                     P l e a s e join me in welcoming General and

      Mr s . G e o r g e C a s ey.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    Thank you.     Great to be

      he r e w i t h y o u a ll.         We're going to lead with our

      st r e n g t h .




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                       [ L a u g h ter.]

                       M R S . C ASEY:     Good afternoon.         It really is

      wo n d e r f u l a n d a honor to be with all of you today,

      an d I ' d l i k e t o thank MOAA and USNI for putting

      th i s f o r u m t o g e ther and also for raising the

      aw a r e n e s s o f t h e challenges that are facing our

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r s and our military families.

                       I ' v e b een an Army spouse for 40 years, and

      I' m a l s o a n A r m y mom.         George has deployed numerous

      ti m e s .       H e l e f t for Iraq for a year and came back

      32 m o n t h s l a t e r .     We missed four Christmases a nd

      Th a n k s g i v i n g s i n a row, numerous birthdays and

      an n i v e r s a r i e s , and I also now know what it is to

      se n d a c h i l d i n to harm's way.

                       I t e l l you this because my story is not

      un u s u a l .     T h i s is the life we lead now.             This is

      wh a t h a s b e c o m e the new normal.                As you know,

      to m o r r o w m a r k s the ninth anniversary of 9/11, a day

      th a t c h a n g e d a l l of us, and a day that propelled us

      in t o t h e s e w a r s .     And I will tell you that from my

      tr a v e l s w i t h G e orge around the Army, that these

      pa s t n i n e y e a r s hav e been incredibly difficult on




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      th e f o r c e .

                    O u r s o ldiers are stretched and they're

      st r e s s e d , a n d t he parents, spouses and children of

      ou r t r o o p s a r e also feeling the stress.         These

      fa m i l y m e m b e r s are what I often refer to as the

      mo s t b r i t t l e p a rt of the for ce; yet, in fact, in

      th e f a c e o f t h e new normal, of rotation cycles and

      mu l t i p l e c o m b a t tours, our troops and their

      fa m i l i e s h a v e a dapted remarkably well.       They've

      co m e t o g e t h e r i n support of one another using their

      co l l e c t i v e s t r e ngth to cope with the str esses of

      mu l t i p l e d e p l o y ments, the trauma of injury and

      il l n e s s , a n d e v en the loss of a loved one serving

      in t h e m i l i t a r y .

                    B u t i t 's still very tough.        I worry in

      pa r t i c u l a r a b o u t the family unit, especially the

      yo u n g m a r r i e d f amily who has not had enough ti me to

      bu i l d s t r o n g b o nds, and they still have continual

      de p l o y m e n t s b e a ring down on them.

                    A n d I also worry about the long -term

      ef f e c t s t h a t t h is is having on our children.          You

      kn o w I o f t e n t h ink about a woman that I met in Fort




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      Dr u m a c o u p l e o f years a go, and I recall, as I

      li s t e n e d t o h e r talking through her sobs about the

      fe a r s t h a t s h e had about her children, her two

      sm a l l c h i l d r e n , never really knowing their father

      be c a u s e o f t h e continual deployments that they

      fa c e d .

                   A n d s h e was particularly conce rned abo ut

      th e f a c t t h a t t hese children might never

      em o t i o n a l l y c o n nect with their father because of

      hi s m i l i t a r y s e rvice that kept him coming in and

      ou t o f t h e i r l i ves.

                   A n d a c tually the only thing I could do for

      he r a t t h a t t i m e was hold her as she cried .     Yes,

      it ' s d i f f i c u l t when our servicemember deploys, but

      ve r y o f t e n i t ' s harder when they return.     Although

      ve r y r e s i l i e n t , our families are dealing with the

      cu m u l a t i v e e f f e cts of nine years of war, and these

      cu m u l a t i v e e f f e cts make it difficult to easil y

      re v e r s e t h e n e g ative aspects.

                   I b e l i eve that the statistics that we are

      se e i n g r i g h t n o w are really lagging indicators of

      wh a t w e ' r e a c t u ally going to see once our families




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      ha v e e n o u g h t i m e to really reintegrate.

                    M y s e n se is that more services and su pport

      is g o i n g t o b e needed.        So we need to stay in front

      of t h i s i s s u e b ecause if we wait until they're

      ba c k , w e ' r e n o t going to be able to react fast

      en o u g h f o r t h e m .

                    Y o u k n ow, then we have, there are those

      fa m i l i e s t h a t h ave the added challenge of cari ng

      fo r a w o u n d e d w arrior.      Many of you are in this

      ro o m t o d a y .    A n d you know all too well how

      ov e r w h e l m i n g t h is can be.   The challenges these

      fa m i l i e s f a c e a re all together different, and the

      le v e l o f s u p p o r t that we owe to these warriors and

      th e i r c a r e g i v e r s is significant.

                    I s p e n t a couple of hours around the table

      wi t h a c o m m a n d e r of a Warrior Transition Unit out

      in C o l o r a d o , a n d at that table was his staff and

      th e l e a d e r s o f their FRG group who were spouses of

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r s, and we spent an awful lo t of time

      ta l k i n g a b o u t h ow do we get the caregivers in to

      he l p t h e m ?     H o w do we reach out to them and give

      th e m t h e s u p p o r t that they so desperately need with




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      al l t h e w o r k t h at they are giving and what they're

      do i n g f o r t h e i r own wounded children, fathers ,

      sp o u s e s ?

                       Y o u k n ow, as Senator Webb said this

      mo r n i n g , w e t r u ly are in unchartered territory.

      Th i s i s t h e l o n gest war our country has ever fought

      wi t h a n a l l v o l unteer force, and we're going to be

      at i t f o r s o m e time to come.               And organizations

      li k e M O AA a n d U SNI and some of the corporation s and

      no n p r o f i t o r g a n izations that are present here today

      ar e p l a y i n g a n instrumental role in keeping up the

      dr u m b e a t a b o u t the importance of support to our

      mi l i t a r y f a m i l i es.

                       A n d I cannot say enough the work that the

      Fi r s t L a d y a n d Dr. Jill Biden have been doing.

      Th e y c o n t i n u a l l y demonstrate their support for

      mi l i t a r y f a m i l i es, whether it's visits to military

      ba s e s , V A h o s p i tals, doing public service

      an n o u n c e m e n t s , or an op - ed that was in the USA

      To d a y l a s t w e e k end w here they challenged every

      se c t o r o f t h e A merican society to support and

      en g a g e o u r m i l i tary families.




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                     M r s . O bama and Dr. Biden have also held

      nu m e r o u s s e s s i o ns at the White House on issues

      af f e c t i n g o u r t roops, our wounded warriors and our

      mi l i t a r y f a m i l i es.    Their raising awareness of the

      ch a l l e n g e s t h a t each of us in this room face in an

      ef f o r t t o f i n d solutions is immeasurable.

                     W e h a v e several wonderful partnerships out

      th e r e t h a t h a v e produced results for our military

      fa m i l i e s .   O n e such is what we'v e done with Sesame

      St r e e t , c r e a t i n g videos for our young children that

      ta l k t o t h e m a b out what to expect for deployments,

      ho w t o d e a l w i t h the seen and unseen wounds of war,

      an d h o w t o g r i e ve.

                     W e ' v e also benefitted from the work that

      co u n t l e s s n o n p r ofits are doing.             They are maki ng a

      hu g e d i f f e r e n c e for military families, and we are

      re a l l y g r a t e f u l for everything that they do.

                     I ' d l i ke to close by briefly sharing with

      yo u w h a t I h a v e observed about caregivers, the

      ti t l e w h i c h b e l ongs to many of you that are sitting

      in t h i s r o o m .     Caregivers are mothers, they're

      fa t h e r s , s p o u s e s, siblings, and medical




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      pr o f e s s i o n a l s , and the common thread among them is

      th a t t h e y t e n d to never say no.

                     C a r e g i vers don't take time for themselves,

      as t h e y t e n d t o see their miss ion is more impo rtant

      th a n t h e m s e l v e s , and they put themselves on the

      bo t t o m o f t h e p ile, especially when a loved one is

      de p l o y e d o r w h e n they're helping someone recover

      fr o m w o u n d s s u s tained in the fight.

                     T o t h e caregivers who are giving all of

      th e m s e l v e s , I c annot overemphasize to you the

      im p o r t a n c e o f f inding balance in your life.      And

      pa r t o f f i n d i n g balance is taking time for

      yo u r s e l f .   Y o u need to take yourself from the

      bo t t o m o f t h e p ile and put yourself back on the top

      be c a u s e i f y o u do not take ca re of yourself,

      ph y s i c a l l y , e m o tionally, and spiritually, you are

      no t g o i n g t o h a ve the energy to take care of

      an y b o d y e l s e .

                     I o f t e n tell spouses as I travel around,

      yo u k n o w , t h i s is not selfish.        It is survival, and

      if y o u d o n ' t d o it, you will get, you 're at the

      ri s k o f g e t t i n g caregiver's fatigue.




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                     T h e o t her thing I tell spouses is, you

      kn o w , t h e r e i s no prize for burnout.          You know, he

      wh o i s t h e m o s t tired at the end of this does not

      wi n .       S o i t ' s i mportant to work hard to find that

      ki n d o f b a l a n c e b ecause we're going to be at this

      fo r a w h i l e , a n d we need all of you to continue to

      do w h a t y o u d o in support of the military family.

                     I w a n t to thank you for everything that

      al l o f y o u h a v e done and everything that you do and

      wi l l c o n t i n u e t o do on a dai ly basis.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    Maybe I should have gone

      fi r s t .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    Well, thanks, dear, and as

      I s a i d , g r e a t t o be here with you.

                     I ' d l i ke to talk to you a little bit about

      th e " n e w n o r m a l ," and I was intrigued to see t hat

      th a t w a s t h e t i tle for the conference because it's

      so m e t h i n g t h a t we in the Army have been thinking

      ab o u t f o r a w h i l e, and, as Sheila mentioned, and we

      al l k n o w , t o m o r row is September 11, nine years at




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      wa r f o r t h e U n i ted States and the United States

      mi l i t a r y .

                     A n d w e believe that nine years at war has

      ch a n g e d u s .   A n d it's changed us in ways that we

      kn o w , a n d i t ' s changed us in ways that we don't

      kn o w o r h a v e y e t to fully appreciate.          And I think

      it ' s i m p o r t a n t that all of us do what you're doing

      he r e , i s s t a r t thinking, we need to start thinking

      ou r w a y t h r o u g h that.

                     N o w , w hether it's new, for sure it will be

      ne w ; w h e t h e r i t 's normal, I'm not so sure.        And one

      of t h e t h i n g s I see across the Army as we try to

      ch a n g e a n d g o f orward is that people always w ant to

      ge t b a c k t o t h e "good old days."           You know, before

      Se p t e m b e r 1 1 , w e were largely a garrison -based Army

      th a t l i v e d t o t rain.     And we certainly were not a

      co m b a t , t h e c o m bat - seasoned force that we are now.

      An d I h a v e t o t ell folks, we're never going b ack

      th e r e .

                     T h e n e w normal, such as it is, is going to

      be f u n d a m e n t a l l y different than what we all knew

      be f o r e S e p t e m b e r 11, because I said it's changed




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      us .

                     L e t m e just start off here by saying some

      th i n g s t h a t w e think we know about how the nine

      ye a r s a t w a r h a ve changed us.          And then I'll follow

      up w i t h s o m e t h ings that we don't know yet or fully

      ap p r e c i a t e t h e impacts.

                     F i r s t of all, we know that we're at war,

      an d e v e n t h o u g h we have had some success in Iraq

      an d h a v e d r a w n down to about 50,000 America n m en

      an d w o m e n t h e r e , the war isn't over.          We're at war

      wi t h a g l o b a l e xtremist terrorist network that

      at t a c k e d u s o n our soil, not far from here.            And

      th e s e f o l k s a r e n't going to quit.          The military

      pe o p l e I s e e a r ound the room have fought them.

                     T h e y k now the brutality that these folks

      ar e c a p a b l e o f , and they're not going to quit and

      th e y ' r e n o t g o i ng to give up, and they're not going

      go a w a y e a s i l y .   They're going to have to be

      de f e a t e d .   A n d we believe that this is a long -term

      id e o l o g i c a l s t r uggle.   A nd if you think about this

      in t e r m s o f d u r ation more like the Cold War than

      li k e D e s e r t S h i eld or Desert Storm, I think you'd




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      be m o r e c o r r e c t .

                      A n d s o we are preparing ourselves for a

      pe r i o d o f p r o t r acted confrontation.          We call it

      pe r s i s t e n t c o n f lict.      An d as we look at the fa ct

      th a t w e ' r e a t w ar, and then we look at the trends

      th a t w e ' r e s e e i ng in the global environment, those

      tr e n d s s e e m m o r e likely to us to exacerbate the

      si t u a t i o n , t h e war, than to ameliorate it.

                      W h a t a re the things I'm talking about?

      Gl o b a l i z a t i o n .   Having positive and negative

      im p a c t s a r o u n d the world.        And it's creating have

      an d h a v e- n o t c u ltures, and the populations of some

      of t h e s e h a v e - n ot cultures are increasingly

      su s c e p t i b l e t o recruiting by the terrorist

      or g a n i z a t i o n s .

                      T e c h no l ogy.     Another double -edged sword.

      Th e s a m e t e c h n o logy that's bringing knowledge to

      an y o n e w i t h a c omputer is being used by terrorists

      to e x p e r t t e r r o r.

                      D e m o g r aphics.     Also going in the wrong

      di r e c t i o n .    W e have studies that say that

      po p u l a t i o n s o f som e developing countries will




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      do u b l e i n t h e n ext decade.          Can you imagine the

      po p u l a t i o n o f P akistan doubling in a decade, and

      th e h u g e p r o b l e ms that would present an already

      st r a p p e d c o u n t r y and government?

                     T h e o t her thing about demographics is the

      in c r e a s e d p o p u l ation is increasing demand for

      re s o u r c e s .   T h e middle classes in both China and

      In d i a a r e a l r e a dy larger than the population of the

      Un i t e d S t a t e s .   That's a lot of two -car famili es.

                     A n d t h e two things that worry me most:

      we a p o n s o f m a s s destructio n in the hands of

      te r r o r i s t o r g a n izations, and I can say I've been

      sa y i n g t h a t s i n ce long before I watched the last

      ep i s o d e o f J a c k Bauer.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    And safe havens, countries

      or p a r t s o f c o u ntries where the local governments

      ca n ' t o r w o n ' t deny their countries as safe havens

      fo r t e r r o r .    I mean the terrorist organizations

      ha v e p l a n n e d a t tacks on the United States from

      co u n t r i e s l i k e Yemen since Christmas, and they've

      tr i e d t o a t t a c k us on our soil twice since




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      Ch r i s t m a s .

                     S o a s we look a t those trends against the

      fa c t w e ' r e a l r e ady at war, it seems to us that

      we ' r e g o i n g t o be in for an era of persistent

      co n f l i c t , m a y b e not of the scope of what we've been

      th r o u g h , b u t w e 're planning on having a large

      nu m b e r o f s o l d i ers deployed in harm's way for

      aw h i l e .

                     S e c o n d ly, the second thing we know, we

      kn o w t h a t t h e c umulative effects of the last nine

      ye a r s a t w a r a r e going to be with us for awhile.

      No w , w e ' v e l o s t -- just soldiers, over 3,200

      so l d i e r s , a n d t hey've left over 20,000 surviving

      fa m i l y me m b e r s .

                     W e ' v e had over 27,000 soldiers wounded,

      7, 5 0 0 o f t h o s e soldiers are severely wounded and

      ar e g o i n g t o r e quire long -term care.      Today, w e

      ha v e a b o u t 9 , 5 0 0 or so soldiers that are in our

      Wa r r i o r T r a n s i t ion Units, not all of them, in fact,

      a g o o d p o r t i o n of them, haven't been wounded in

      co m b a t , b u t t h e y're recovering from long -term

      ai l m e n t s .




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                       W e ' v e , since 2000, we've diagnosed about

      al m o s t 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 soldiers with some form of Traumatic

      Br a i n I n j u r y , a nd since 2003, we've diagnosed about

      al m o s t 4 5 , 0 0 0 s o ldiers with Post Traumatic Str ess.

      An d I ' l l t e l l y ou, I honestly think those numbers

      ar e p r o b a b l y l o w because we wrestle hard with

      re d u c i n g t h e s t igma of getting care for behavioral

      he a l t h p r o b l e m s .

                       S o a s we think about the future, those

      ty p e s o f c h a l l e ng es are going to be with us for

      aw h i l e , a n d S h e ila mentioned the cumulative

      ef f e c t s .    W e h a ve recently completed a study that

      to l d u s w h a t w e intuitively knew, that it takes 24

      to 3 6 m o n t h s t o recover from a one -year combat

      de p l o y m e n t .   I t just does.       We ar e all human.   We

      ar e a l l s u b j e c t to the stresses and strains of

      co m b a t .

                       A n d t h e reality has been that for the last

      fi v e y e a r s , w e have been deploying closer at one

      ye a r o u t , o n e y ear at home, and we frankly won't

      ge t t h e A r m y t o where everyone has close t o two

      ye a r s a t h o m e u ntil 2012, and so we're still away




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      fr o m m e e t i n g t h at objective.

                       S o t h e fact that we've been doing this

      fa s t e r a n d h a v e n't been able to have the soldiers

      ha v e s u f f i c i e n t time at home to fully recover has

      ac c e l e r a t e d t h e cumulative effe cts there.

                       S o t h e second point I'd leave you with is

      th e c u m u l a t i v e effects are going to be with us for

      aw h i l e .

                       T h e t h ird point that we know is we know

      th a t t h e A r m y i s out of balance, but that said, we

      ar e m o v i n g t o a much more positive position.          And

      le t m e e x p l a i n to you what I mean by out of

      ba l a n c e .    W h e n I first came here from Iraq in 2007,

      I w r e s t l e d h a r d with finding the right way to

      de s c r i b e t h e c o ndition of the Army because I was

      he a r i n g i t w a s broken; I was hearing it was hollow;

      I w a s h e a r i n g i t wasn't ready.

                       A n d a s Sheila and I went around the Army

      an d t a l k e d t o g roups of soldiers and families, it

      wa s c l e a r t o u s that this was a hugely resilient

      co m b a t s e a s o n e d and professional force.      But it was

      al s o q u i t e c l e a r to us that that force and th e




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      fa m i l i e s w e r e s tretched, significantly stretched,

      by t h e d e m a n d s of the then several years at war.

                     A n d s o I came up with the term "out of

      ba l a n c e , " t h a t we were so weighed down by our

      cu r r e n t d e m a n d s that we couldn't do the things that

      we k n e w w e n e e d ed to do to sustain this all

      vo l u n t e e r f o r c e for the long haul and to prepare

      ou r s e l v e s t o d o other things, to restore some

      st r a t e g i c f l e x i bility.

                     A n d w e put ourselves on a plan back in

      20 0 7 t o g e t t o a better position, to get back in

      ba l a n c e b y t h e end of next year, and I can tell you

      th a t w e h a v e m a de good progress toward that.          And

      th e p l a n w a s c e ntered on four imperatives:

                     W e s a i d we had to sustain our soldiers and

      fa m i l i e s .   T h e y 're the heart and soul of all the

      Ar m e d F o r c e s .

                     S e c o n d , we had to conti nue to prepare

      so l d i e r s f o r s u ccess in the current conflict.

                     T h i r d , we had to reset them effectively

      wh e n t h e y r e t u r n home.

                     A n d f o urth, we had to continue to




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      tr a n s f o r m b e c a u se on September 11, we were a very

      go o d A r m y , b u t we were an Army designed to fig ht

      an d w i n l a r g e a rmored battles on the plains of

      We s t e r n E u r o p e or the deserts of Saudi Arabia.

                    S o l e t me just talk a little bit about

      ea c h o f t h e e l e ments of sustain, prepare, reset and

      tr a n s f o r m , a n d I'm going to save sustain for last

      si n c e i t ' s k i n d o f the focus of what you're talking

      ab o u t h e r e .

                    F i r s t of all, prepare.         We've made huge

      st r i d e s i n o u r ability to put the equipment the

      so l d i e r s n e e d i n their hands very, very rapidly.

      By w a y o f e x a m p le, it took us, and I was there, it

      to o k u s a b o u t t hre e -and - a-half years to get a full

      co m p l e m e n t o f u p - armored vehicles into Iraq.      It

      to o k u s a b o u t 1 8 months to get the next version of

      a p r o t e c t e d v e h icle there, and it took us 12 months

      to g e t t h e m o s t modern version into Afghanistan and

      Ir a q .   S o w e ' r e tur ning that very good.

                    A n d I will tell you, and when I go around

      an d t a l k t o t h e soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, I

      al w a y s a s k t h e m how's the kit, how's your gear,




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      wh a t d o y o u n e e d?         And except for running into an

      oc c a s i o n a l s o l d ier who wants another gun, it's all,

      th e y ' r e p r e t t y satisfied with what they have.

                     Reset.       Reset sounds like something you do

      to y o u r c o m p u t e r, but what it means is restoring

      so l d i e r s , u n i t s and equipment to an appropriate

      st a t e s o t h e y c an turn around and go back.

                     A n d I can tell you, when you're only h ome

      fo r 1 2 m o n t h s , you basically have a chance to take

      ab o u t f o u r t o s ix weeks off, and then you get right

      ba c k o n t h e t r e admill, and meanwhile we're trying

      to s e n d y o u r e q uipment to depots to get it fixed

      an d g e t i t b a c k in your han ds.

                     S o t h e re have been a lot of moving parts

      on t h i s .         C o n g r ess has been very supportive in

      en s u r i n g w e g e t the money to fix this equipment and

      th e s o l d i e r s a r e going back in with well -repaired

      eq u i p m e n t .

                     T r a n s f orm.     And I think, I think this is

      im p o r t a n t b e c a u se, as I said, we were a very good

      Ar m y , b u t w e w e re a Cold War Army on September 11,

      an d s o w h i l e w e have been fighting these wars over




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      th e l a s t n i n e y ears, we had been completely

      tr a n s f o r m i n g o u rselves into an Army that's more

      re l e v a n t f o r t h e c hallenges of the 21st century.

                  F i r s t of all, we've increased the size of

      th e A r m y b y 7 5 , 000, and you'll remember President

      Bu s h t o l d u s t o do that in 2007.           Originally, it

      wa s g o i n g t o b e finished in 2012.           With Secretary

      Ga t e s ' s u p p o r t , we moved that to 2010, and we

      fi n i s h e d i t l a s t year.

                  A n d i t was hugely important because it

      en a b l e d u s t o m eet the plus -up in Afghanistan

      be f o r e w e w e r e out of Iraq without having to

      in c r e a s e t i m e i n Iraq or Afghanistan to 15 months,

      as w e h a d t o d o before.

                  S e c o n d ly, we have converted every brigade

      in t h e A r m y t o new designs that are more relevant

      to t h e c h a l l e n g es they're facing today.        All 300

      pl u s b r i g a d e s o f the Army have been adapted for

      21 s t c e n t u r y o p erations.

                  T h i r d , we've done some rebalancing, and we

      ha v e t a k e n a b o u t 160,000 soldiers out of skills

      th a t w e r e n e c e s sary in the Cold War and moved them




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      in t o s k i l l s , r e trained them, reequipped them, and

      mo v e d t h e m i n t o skills more relevant today.

                    B y w a y of example, we've stood down about

      20 0 t a n k c o m p a n ies, artillery b atteries, air

      de f e n s e b a t t e r i es, and we've stood up a

      co r r e s p o n d i n g n umber of civil affairs,

      ps y c h o l o g i c a l o perations, military police, those

      ki n d s o f t h i n g s .

                    T a k e n together, those two elements

      re p r e s e n t t h e l argest organizational transformation

      of t h e A r m y s i n ce World War II, and we've done it

      wh i l e w e ' v e b e e n sending 150,000 soldiers over and

      ba c k t o I r a q a n d Afghanistan.              Huge change, but

      es s e n t i a l c h a n g e.

                    T h e o t her huge change has been in our

      Re s e r v e c o m p o n e nts.     Half of our Guardsmen and

      Re s e r v i s t s a r e combat veterans.                And they have

      ex p e r i e n c e d c o m bat.

                    A n d o n e of the things that we're looking

      at i s a s w e h e l p them recover from that, it's more

      di f f i c u l t t h a n it is for the Active soldiers

      be c a u s e t h e y ' r e dispersed all across the country,




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      an d I ' v e r e c e n t ly had a retired four - star do a

      st u d y o n h o w w e 're taking care of Reservists, and

      we ' v e g o t s o m e work to do on that.

                     B u t w e would not have been able to do what

      we ' v e d o n e f o r the country without the

      co n t r i b u t i o n s o f our Guardsmen and Reservists.

                     N e x t , i f that wasn't quite enough, because

      of t h e B a s e R e a lignment and Closure Act, we're

      mo v i n g a b o u t 3 8 0,000 soldiers and families in the

      ne x t 1 8 m o n t h s , and you know how it works.          You get

      th e m o n e y , y o u develop the plans, you build the

      bu i l d i n g s , a n d everyb ody moves in the last 18

      mo n t h s .   W e l l , that's happening.         The upside for us

      is t h a t t h e q u a lity of facilities on installations

      ha s i m p r o v e d h u gely.

                     T h e l a st thing I will tell you about

      ch a n g e f o r t h e Army is we are moving to put the

      wh o l e A r m y o n a rotat ional model, much like th e

      Na v y a n d t h e M a rine Corps have been on for years.

      An d i t ' s t h e o n ly way that we can figure how to

      su s t a i n c o m m i t m ents at a tempo that's predictable

      an d s u s t a i n a b l e for our all volunteer force.




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                    I t ' s a huge internal change.         You won' t

      se e m u c h o f t h a t outside the Army, but it's really

      ca u s i n g u s t o d o things a lot differently.

                    N o w l e t me wrap up here with the sustained

      pi e c e o f t h i s .   Because, as I said, we will be

      de a l i n g w i t h t h e cumulative effects of the last

      ni n e y e a r s f o r s ome time to come.

                    F i r s t of all, the most important element

      of s u s t a i n i n g t his force, and I've realized this

      ov e r t h e l a s t t hree -and - a-half years, is to

      in c r e a s e t h e a m ount of time the soldiers are at

      ho m e , t o i n c r e a se the dwell.        And as I mentioned,

      wh e n y o u ' r e o n l y home for a year, there's not much

      yo u c a n d o e x c e pt get ready to go back.          You don't

      ha v e t i m e t o f u lly recover.         And the effects back

      up q u i c k e r .

                    A n d s o we will get the Army to a point

      wh e r e b y t h i s t i me next year, units deploying will

      ha v e t w o y e a r s at home, can expect two years at

      ho m e w h e n t h e y get back.        And that's very, very

      im p o r t a n t f o r u s.   We're also exploring the

      po s s i b i l i t y o f when we can go to three years at




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      ho m e b e c a u s e I believe that's sustainable for the

      lo n g h a u l .

                    S e c o n d ly, I mentioned to you that we h ave

      ov e r 2 0 , 0 0 0 s u r viving family members.         We created a

      pr o g r a m a c o u p l e of years ago called Survivor

      Ou t r e a c h S e r v i c es.    What became apparent to Sheila

      an d m e a s w e w e re going around the Army was that

      mo r e a n d m o r e o f the surv iving family members

      wa n t e d t o s t a y connected.           They wanted to remain

      pa r t o f t h e A r m y, and so we've organized ourselves

      to b e t t e r s u p p o rt them and to keep them connected

      to t h e A r m y .

                    I m e n t ioned the 7,500 or so severely

      wo u n d e d s o l d i e r s.    We have an Army wounded war rior

      pr o g r a m t h a t t r acks those requiring long -term care.

      Th a t ' s b e e n i n effect since 2004, and we continue

      to e x p a n d o u r c apability to maintain contact with

      se v e r e l y w o u n d e d soldiers.

                    T h e b i g effort, probably the major effort

      he r e o n t h e s u s ta ined side, is improving what we're

      do i n g f o r t h e b ehavioral health of the force.           And

      yo u ' v e r e a d a b o ut the increasing suicide rates in




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      th e A r m y , a n d t hat is a huge challenge for us.

                    I t h i n k some of you might have seen just

      ea r l i e r t o d a y t here was an an nouncement that

      Se c r e t a r y o f H e alth, Education and Welfare,

      Se c r e t a r y S e b e l ius, worked with the Secretary of

      De f e n s e , a n d t h ey announced the National Action

      Al l i a n c e f o r S u icide Prevention, and the Secretary

      of t h e A r m y J o h n McHugh is on that with the form er

      Se n a t o r G o r d o n Smith, and, again, it's another way

      of f o c u s i n g a t t ention on a national problem.

                    T h i s i s not just an Army problem, as are

      al l t h e b e h a v i o ral health issues.      It's a national

      pr o b l e m t h a t w e 're all working on together.

                    I w o u l d tell you ab out a program calle d

      Co m p r e h e n s i v e S oldier Fitness, and as we looked at

      ou r p r o g r a m s f o r behavioral health, we got some

      gr e a t t r e a t m e n t programs, but after we identified

      so m e o n e h a d a p roblem, what we didn't have was a

      pr o g r a m t h a t a l lowed soldiers and fam ily members to

      bu i l d r e s i l i e n c e so they didn't have the problem to

      be g i n w i t h .

                    A n d l a st October, we kicked this program




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      of f a f t e r a b o u t two years of work with key leaders

      up a t t h e U n i v e rsity of Pennsylvania who have got

      30 y e a r s o f s t u dy in this area.              T he whole poi nt of

      th i s p r o g r a m i s to give soldiers the skills they

      ne e d t o b e m o r e resilient, and it's got four key

      el e m e n t s .

                     O n e , w e have an online survey that will

      gi v e s o l d i e r s a n assessment of their strengths in

      th e f i v e k e y a r eas of fitness: physical ; emoti onal;

      sp i r i t u a l ; s o c i al; and family.       And it takes about

      20 m i n u t e s .

                     O v e r 8 00,000 people have taken that study

      si n c e O c t o b e r .   And it gives them just a --they get

      a b a r g r a p h i n each of those five lines, and if

      th e y h a v e a l o n g bar, have a nice day .             If they

      ha v e a s h o r t b a r, it allows them to connect to

      on l i n e s e l f - h e l p modules.    And over a half a

      mi l l i o n , a l m o s t a half a million people, or half a

      mi l l i o n m o d u l e s have been used by the soldiers

      al r e a d y j u s t s i nce October.

                     W e ' r e also creating master resilience

      tr a i n e r s , s e r g e ants who go to the University of




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      Pe n n s y l v a n i a o r a school for ten days, and they

      le a r n h o w t o h e lp soldiers build resilience.                I

      th i n k t h a t h a s a lot of promise, not only for us,

      bu t f o r t h e e n t ire, for the country.

                    I t ' s b ased o n a premise that the majority

      of p e o p l e t h a t go into a stressful situation like

      co m b a t h a v e a g rowth experience, and we all think,

      we l l , e v e r y b o d y that goes to combat gets Post

      Tr a u m a t i c S t r e s s.   That's not true.         The vast

      ma j o r i t y o f t h e m come out stronge r and so we're

      tr y i n g t o g i v e some strengths to the soldiers.

                    I ' m g o ing a little long here, and I want

      to l e a v e s o m e t ime for questions.              So I think I'm

      go i n g t o s t o p t here.        I'll just mention the three

      th i n g s t h a t w e don't know:

                    F i r s t of all, we don't k now what else is

      ou t t h e r e , a n d we don't know what other challenges

      ar e g o i n g t o b e thrust upon the country.               I think

      wh a t e v e r t h e y a re, they are going to be complex and

      th e y ' r e g o i n g t o be uncertain.           So we have to keep

      th a t i n m i n d a s we go forward.

                    S e c o n d ly, we don't know and we're




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      wr e s t l i n g w i t h trying to figure out how the

      cu m u l a t i v e e f f e cts of nine years at war are going

      to m a n i f e s t t h e mselves as we have more time at

      ho m e .       A n d w h a t we hear from soldiers and families

      is t h e y ' r e d e f e rring a lot of s tuff because th ey

      on l y h a v e a y e a r at home, and we've got to work our

      wa y t h r o u g h t h a t.

                      A n d l a stly, we're asking ourselves hard

      qu e s t i o n s a b o u t what the impacts of the war have

      be e n o n o u r c u l ture and our profession, and we've

      go t s o m e i n t r o s pective wor k that we have to do on

      th a t .

                      I ' m g o ing to stop, but I would just close

      by s a y i n g y o u c an be extremely proud of the men and

      wo m e n o f n o t o n ly your Army, but of all your Armed

      Fo r c e s .     I n t h e last two days, the President has

      an n o u n c e d t w o n ew Medal of Hono r winners, one

      po s t h u m o u s , t h e other not, and the second one,

      St a f f S e r g e a n t Salvatore Giunta, is the first

      su r v i v i n g M e d a l of Honor winner we've had in the

      cu r r e n t c o n f l i c t.   And there's a lot more of them

      ou t t h e r e .




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                   O v e r 1 3,000 awards for valor have alr eady

      be e n p r e s e n t e d over the course of the last nine

      ye a r s a t w a r .    We couldn't sustain that force

      wi t h o u t t h e s u p port of the American people, groups

      li k e y o u r s e l v e s , and the support of Congress, and

      ev e r y b o d y h a s b een very, very forthcoming.

                   S o t h a nk you very much for your support.

      Th a n k y o u f o r w hat you do for the men and women of

      ou r A r m e d F o r c e s.

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:              General and Mrs.

      Ca s e y h a v e i n d i cated they'll take a few questions

      if y o u h a v e t h e m.       Please wait for the microphone

      a n d l e t m e p o i n t at you as you get it, and we'll

      go .

                   Q u e s t i ons?

                   M A J O R CLARK:        Thank you.        Good afternoon.

      My n a m e i s M a j o r Matt Clark.            I'm currently a

      mi l i t a r y f e l l o w with Congressman Elijah Cummings,

      at l e a s t f o r t h e next couple of months before I

      re t u r n b a c k t o my life as a military research

      ps y c h o l o g i s t , i n full disclosure here.




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                     S o , s i r, this is primarily for you.      Given

      th e t o p i s s u e s of suicide and PTSD and TBI, and the

      cl e a r i m p a c t t h at this is going to have on the

      fo r c e o v e r t h e long -term, I'm cur ious if you think

      we h a v e t h e r i g ht number and mix of research

      ps y c h o l o g i s t s a nd civilian researchers to address

      th e i s s u e , a n d more importantly, I think, do we

      ha v e t h e p r o c e s ses that will allow us to develop

      ef f e c t i v e k n o w l edge products to address these

      is s u e s ?    A n d w h en I say "knowledge products," I

      me a n l i k e b e h a v ioral health interventions or

      tr a c k i n g o f s u i cide rates and that type of

      in f o r m a t i o n .

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:   Starting from the rear, I

      do t h i n k w e h a v e, we have much improved

      ca p a b i l i t i e s i n tracking behavioral health iss ues.

      We h a v e r e c e n t l y completed an exhaustive study that

      we r e l e a s e d i n July about our program for health

      pr o m o t i o n , r i s k reduction and suicide prevention,

      an d w e ' v e h a d a concerted effort going on since

      20 0 9 t o i m p r o v e our ability to identify high - risk

      be h a v i o r a n d a d dress it before it becomes a longer -




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      te r m p r o b l e m .

                     T o y o u r question on research, I couldn't

      te l l y o u e x a c t l y how much we have devoted, how many

      pe o p l e w e h a v e devoted to the research.            However, I

      ca n t e l l y o u t h at we have been working very, v ery

      ha r d i n l o o k i n g into in - depth the problems wit h

      Po s t T r a u m a t i c Stress and Mild Traumatic Brain

      In j u r y .

                     A n d w e are, I don't want to say we're

      sc r a t c h i n g t h e surface.    We've all improved our

      kn o w l e d g e a b o u t both of those afflictions hugely in

      th e l a s t s e v e r a l years.    But the more we find out,

      th e m o r e w e k n o w we don't know.            So we have, we,

      ou r s o c i e t y , h a s a long - term project here as w e

      wo r k t o c o n t i n u e to broaden our understanding of

      th e s e b e h a v i o r a l health issues.

                     M A J O R GENERAL W ILKERSON:        Next questio n?

                     M A J O R BRIGGS:    Yes, sir.       I appreciate the

      op p o r t u n i t y t o ask this.       Along the same lines of

      th a t p a r t i c u l a r question --

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:         Tell us your

      na m e .




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                      M A J O R BRIGGS:      My name is Rick Briggs from

      th e B r a i n I n j u r y A ssociation of Michigan.         And the

      qu e s t i o n i s i n your second point, you talked about

      th e r e s e t f a c t o r and understanding that when a

      so l d i e r , s a i l o r , airman, Marine runs into a TBI

      ex p o s u r e e v e n t , IED blast or whatever, and the

      po t e n t i a l e x i s t s to attenuate their combat cri tical

      sk i l l s , c o m m u n i cation, reaction time, executive

      fu n c t i o n i n g a n d so on, why has the Army opted to

      st o p d o i n g t h e post -deployment assessment, the

      AN A M , i n p a r t i c ular, when until a better tool is

      pr o v i d e d t o w h e re we can get the baseline

      es t a b l i s h e d , w h ich you've already done over 600,000

      pr e - d e p l o y m e n t tests, why not continue with the

      AN A M o n t h e p o s t - deployment?

                      Y o u ' v e only done 11,000 out of the 600,000

      po s t - d e p l o y s .   Why not continue with that while the

      re s e a r c h , a c o u ple billion dol lars you got com ing

      up , c a n c o m e u p with a better tool?

                      G E N E R A L CASEY:    That, I missed the part

      ab o u t w h a t i s i t you think we're not doing?

                      M A J O R BRIGGS:      The ANAM, Automated




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      Ne u r o c o g n i t i v e Assessment Matrix, which is the tool

      fo r c o g n i t i v e a ssessment.

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    Right.

                     M A J O R BRIGGS:      There's some argument in

      th e s c i e n c e r e s earch end, which I'm sure they'll

      ar g u e a b o u t t h e next 20 years, but it is critical

      wi t h T r a u m a t i c Brain Injury rehabilitation that the

      re h a b i l i t a t i o n be done in a timely basis.       It' s

      li k e c o n c r e t e .   You only got a set period of time

      to w o r k w i t h i t until it gets beyond the workable

      po i n t .    W e ' r e n ine years into the war and we're not

      ge t t i n g t h e p r e and post -comparison to a basel ine

      re f e r e n c e .

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:    Yeah.    I think we a re all

      gr o w i n g o u r s t u dy populations, and this goes back

      to k i n d o f t h e last question on research there, and

      th i s i s o n e o f the tools that we have for improving

      ou r k n o w l e d g e o f Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

                     I w i l l tell you that we are using that

      sy s t e m , a s y o u suggest.        We may not be using it as

      fu l l y a s w e c o u ld be, but I will tell you that our

      st u d i e s a l r e a d y have caused us to impose a regimen




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      in I r a q a n d A f g hanistan that requires automatic

      do w n t i m e i f s o meone is in proximity of a blast,

      an d i f t h e y a r e exposed multiple times, there' s a

      re q u i r e m e n t t o be seen by a physician and studied.

                     S o w e have made great progress in that

      ar e a , b u t i t ' s kind of a reverse stigma.          You know,

      ho w m a n y o f y o u all have been in the football game

      an d g o t y o u r b e ll rung, and the coach, and you've

      go n e u p t o t h e coach and said, hey, coach, I'm

      ok a y , p u t m e b a ck in?   And that's the kind of men

      an d w o m e n t h a t we have here, and we have to be very

      di s c i p l i n e d t o ensure that they identify themselves

      an d t h e y g e t t h e care that they need.

                     B u t I take your point there.         There are

      th i n g s w e c o u l d do better to expand our knowledge

      fa s t e r .

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:       Okay.   I'm going

      to t a k e d i r e c t o r's privilege and ask Mrs. Casey a

      qu e s t i o n .   A s y ou've traveled around and talked

      wi t h f a m i l i e s a nd spouses and seen all the things

      th a t y o u w e r e s aying about your soldiers and all of

      th o s e e n g a g e d , if you could do, what is the single -




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      mo s t i m p o r t a n t or most pervasive thing that you see

      if y o u c o u l d f i x it tomorrow, if there's one thing

      th a t s t a n d s o u t as you've looked at everything,

      wh a t w o u l d t h a t be?

                     M R S . C ASEY:     I guess access to care, to

      ca r e a n d t o m e n tal health professionals, as well,

      yo u k n o w .       A n d , you know, part of the problem that

      we a l l h a v e t o recognize is the fact that lack of

      th e n u m b e r o f p rofessional health care providers,

      pe r i o d , i n t h e United States.

                     I m e a n it's just not a problem in the

      mi l i t a r y .     I t ' s a problem outside the gates, and

      al s o w e r u n i n t o the problem of Army posts, if you

      ha v e n ' t n o t i c e d , are not in the most gla morous

      pl a c e s .       W e ' r e not the Navy.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M R S . C ASEY:     And so some of these

      lo c a t i o n s a r e , you know, remote and sometimes it's -

      - i t ' s a l s o h a r d to recruit medical professionals to

      co m e i n .        S o I think, you know, where we are right

      no w i s m a k i n g i t easier for our family members and

      th e i r c h i l d r e n to get the kind of mental health




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      ca r e , a n d s o m e people have to travel a couple of

      ho u r s t o d o i t , and that's asking a lot, I think,

      fo r o u r f a m i l i e s.       So --

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:        Yeah, I'd second that.        As

      we g o a r o u n d , t hat's probably the number one issue

      th a t w e g e t , a n d it's representative of the

      cu m u l a t i v e e f f e cts.     When you call and try to get

      an a p p o i n t m e n t for a kid, a child with an earache,

      an d y o u c a n ' t g et one, and your husband is

      de p l o y e d , i t ' s , the eff ects are magnified, and when

      yo u ' v e b e e n d o i ng this for nine years, people's

      pa t i e n c e i s a t a pretty low point.

                     A n d s o little problems become big problems

      fa s t e r , a n d t h i s is probably the number one issue

      th a t w e g e t a s we go around.

                     M R S . C ASEY:       Because I can't, I don't have

      th e p o w e r t o i n crease the dwell time.

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:              One last

      qu e s t i o n .   Y e s , ma'am.

                     M S . G R EER -DAVIS:         Good afternoon.        My name

      is H e i d i G r e e r - Davis.           I'm the Director of Air

      Co m p a s s i o n f o r Veterans.           We are one of the




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      c i v i l i a n N G O , n on -government organization

      ch a r i t i e s t h a t helps our veterans and wounded

      wa r r i o r s .

                       A n d , G eneral, I thank you for the

      wo n d e r f u l r e p o r t card you gave our Army and our

      mi l i t a r y , a n d I know everyone in this room is very

      pr o u d o f t h a t , and we are proud of our military,

      bu t t h e r e i s o n e thing I am not proud of, and I

      kn o w t h a t t h e m ilitary's quote is "No Man Left

      Be h i n d . "

                       B u t w h en our kids come home injured, I'm

      so r r y , t h e y a r e left behind.           They are not getting

      th e m e d i c a l t r e atment and the f ull accountabil ity

      of c a r e t h a t t h ey need.         And it takes too long.

      Th e b u r e a u c r a t i c walls, it's an atrocity.        I'm

      so r r y .       T h e b e a uty of the NGO is they can cut

      th r o u g h t h e b u r eaucratic inertia and get to the

      he a r t a n d s o u l of the problem, and they can rea ch

      ou t a n d h e l p t h ese kids, and it's at no cost to our

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r s.

                       T h e s e NGOs are created by civilians that

      ca r e , t h a t a r e Americans that care, and we need




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      yo u r s u p p o r t .   We need the government's support.

      We ' r e a b l e t o t ake care of these wonderful kid s

      th a t h a v e s a c r i ficed everything for us so we can

      ha v e t h i s i n c r e dible lifestyle we call as

      Am e r i c a n s , a n d I'm proud to be an American, and I'm

      pr o u d t o b e a b l e to be helpful and to be honored to

      he l p o u r w o u n d e d who have given so much for us.

                    S o I o nly implore because I've been after

      Se n a t o r W e b b , I 've been after all sorts of people

      to t e l l t h e m , I mean in our particular NGO, we've

      do n e o v e r 1 7 , 0 0 0 free flights to get wounded

      wa r r i o r s t o a c c ess not only these incredible NGO

      pr o g r a m s , b u t a lso 6,000 of those flights are

      Ac t i v e D u t y .

                    W e ' r e getting calls from case managers

      fr o m W a l t e r R e e d, from wherever, to say there's a

      be d a v a i l a b l e o ver in Palo Alto.           We need to get

      ou r g u y s t h e r e now.     We cannot wait for orders.            We

      ca n n o t w a i t f o r the military.

                    T h e y k now that if it's an emergency, we

      ca n p r o v i d e t h a t transportation within minutes.             So

      my q u e s t i o n t o you, sir, how can we make this




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      br i d g e ?   H o w c a n we bridge the gap between NGOs and

      ou r g o v e r n m e n t so we can work together as a

      pa r t n e r s h i p f o r our kid s?

                     T h a n k you.

                     G E N E R A L CASEY:     Thank you.

                     B o y , t hat's a great point.          I mean

      so m e t i m e s w e ' r e hard to help, and I see that

      wh e r e v e r w e g o , and we tie ourselves up in knots

      wi t h o u r l a w y e r s and our bureaucracy, and frankly,

      as y o u a l l t a l k about that today , Norb, I'd be, I'd

      li k e t o h e a r y o ur thoughts on how we can better

      ut i l i z e c i v i l i a n organizations that want to help.

      We h a v e t o d o b etter.

                     A n d w e don't have a one - stop shop wher e

      fo l k s c a n p l u g in, and we've been working at, and

      tr y i n g t o m a k e it simple r for five years, and we've

      ma d e g r u d g i n g p rocess.

                     I w o u l d say, I wouldn't characterize the

      tr e a t m e n t o f t h e wounded soldiers as "atrocious."

      Yo u k n o w i f T o m had asked me the question what was

      th e o n e t h i n g I would fix, it would be the Physical

      Di s a b i l i t y E v a l uation System.        It is too




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      bu r e a u c r a t i c .

                       [ A p p l a use.]

                       G E N E R A L CASEY:    And to me, it's the

      pr i m a r y f a c t o r in why it takes soldiers so long to

      pr o c e s s t h r o u g h the system, and it's overly

      co m p l i c a t e d , a n d we have not made the strides in

      fi x i n g t h a t t h a t we need to, and I just had my

      In s p e c t o r G e n e r al go out and do a look at all of

      ou r W a r r i o r T r a nsition Units, and that was the

      nu m b e r o n e i s s u e he came back with, and I have a

      te a m w o r k i n g o n a proposal I'm going to take to the

      Se c r e t a r y o f D e fense so that we can get after this.

                       B u t w h en you're, I mean I see wounded

      so l d i e r s a r o u n d here.        They know the story.      The

      lo n g e r y o u ' r e s omeplace, the more uncertain and the

      mo r e d i f f i c u l t it becomes, and we have to reduce

      th e t i m e t h a t t he soldiers are in the system and

      st i l l m a k e s u r e that they get the fair and

      eq u i t a b l e t r e a t ment that they so well deserve.

                       B u t t h ank you for your comments and your

      su p p o r t .

                       M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:           Please join me




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      in t h a n k i n g G e n eral and Mrs. Casey for a wonderful

      ex p e r i e n c e a t n oo n.

                    [ A p p l a use.]

                    M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:              Once again I get

      th e p a r t o f t h e afternoon.             We're now on a 15 -

      mi n u t e b r e a k .   We'll be back in here at 2:15 ready

      to r o c k a n d r o l l.

                    T h a n k you.

                    [ W h e r e upon, at 2:00 p.m., the Luncheon

      Se s s i o n w a s c o n cluded, the D efense Forum to

      re c o n v e n e a t 2 : 15 p.m., this same day.]




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                      A F T E R N O O N               S E S S I O N

                                                                      [2:15 p.m.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      Please take your seats.             We're

      re a d y t o g e t g o ing.        Thank you.           Okay.     It's my

      in t r o d u c t i o n t o introd uce this next dynamite panel

      an d d i s c u s s i o n .     The discussion is "The New Normal:

      Ho p e f o r t h e F u ture."         And directing this panel

      wi l l b e m o d e r a t or, country music singer/songwriter,

      wo u n d e d M a r i n e veteran, and another great American

      St e p h e n C o c h r a n .

                     S t e p h en 's life is about as real as it can

      ge t .    A f t e r 9 / 1 1, he joined the Marine Corps.                    He

      se r v e d w i t h t h e Special Operations capable light -

      ar m o r e d r e c o n n a issance division as a recon scout.

      On h i s s e c o n d t our in Iraq, he was injured while on

      se c u r i t y p a t r o l ou tside of Kandahar and awoke in a

      ho s p i t a l i n B e t hesda, Maryland with the news that

      hi s b a c k w a s b r oken in six pieces.

                     H i s d o ctors were ready to fuse his back

      to g e t h e r , a n d h e was preparing to spend the rest of

      hi s l i f e i n a w heelchair.             A nurse, for all y ou

      nu r s e s o u t t h e r e, overheard the conversation and




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      su g g e s t e d i n s t e ad they try kyphoplasty.           After nine

      mo n t h s o f n o t w alking and four pounds of cement in

      hi s b a c k , S t e p h en took his first step back toward

      hi s m u s i c c a r e e r and used his recovery time well,

      d i g g i n g d e e p t o reignite the passion for

      so n g w r i t i n g .

                     L a d i e s and gentlemen, Stephen Cochran.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     Thank you.

                     I t h i n k they learned their lesson last

      ti m e s o t h e y d i dn't give me the wireless mic or I'd

      ju s t b e w a l k i n g from table to table just meeti ng

      ev e r y b o d y , a n d we don't get anything done that way.

                     W e ' r e definitely here to learn a lot about

      PT S D a n d w h a t ' s working and what's not, and I think

      we h a v e a g r e a t panel here to answer all the

      qu e s t i o n s t h a t you have.       We're going to tou ch on

      so m e t h i n g s .

                     A l i t t le bit about me.             I am a country

      ar t i s t , b u t I ' m also the VA spokesperson for

      re s e a r c h a n d d e velopment so some of you might have

      se e n m e t h e l a s t time I was here in D.C., and if




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      yo u g u y s a r e g o ing to keep having me come back up,

      we ' r e g o i n g t o have to really do something about

      yo u r s e c u r i t y c learances.         Because we wear belt

      bu c k l e s i n N a s h ville, and I know that most of you

      do n ' t w e a r y o u r flatware on your belt, but we do,

      an d s o i t d o e s set off your security alarms, and

      I' m n o t O s a m a b in Laden.           I'm a Marine so we don't

      ne e d t o b e s e t t ing those off when we're coming

      th r o u g h .

                       I ' d l i ke to pass it on over to Dr. Gans

      an d l e t e v e r y b o dy say a little bit about their

      se l v e s , a n d l e t 's just go ahead and get into this

      to p i c , a n d w e ' r e goin g to have fun.            That's th e

      re a s o n w e ' r e s i tting like a fireside over here

      be c a u s e I b e l i e ve if we're having a good time, then

      we ' r e g o i n g t o absorb all this information a lot

      be t t e r t h a n j u s t trying to sit here and get through

      th e n e x t h o u r - a nd -a -half.

                       S o D r . Gans, would you go ahead and please

      te l l u s a l i t t l e bit about yourself?

                       D R . G A NS:   I sure would.          You can read the

      bi o i n t h e p r o g ram handout, but I'm a physician




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      sp e c i a l i z i n g i n rehabilitation medicine, and I'm an

      al i e n i n y o u r m idst because I am a civilian.      I

      ha v e n o c o n n e c t ion or family history with the

      mi l i t a r y s o I c ome from a rather different

      pe r s p e c t i v e .

                     A n d o n e of the things I hope to share with

      yo u i s h o w s i m i lar the issues are in the community

      ar o u n d u s a s w e ll as in the military and vet er ans

      wo r l d w h e n i t c omes to care for serious injuries,

      br a i n i n j u r i e s , amputations, the kinds of things

      th a t y o u ' r e t a l king about today.

                     A n d I will have the chance to tell you

      ab o u t s o m e o f t he opportunities and the advances in

      me d i c i n e t h a t a re making t he ability to diagno se

      an d t r e a t t h e s e problems better, and the future

      lo o k s b r i g h t , b ut also talk about some of the

      ch a l l e n g e s t h a t I see from the private community

      pr o v i d e r p e r s p e ctive that you all are experiencing

      an d y o u r w o u n d e d warriors are experienc ing, an d

      so m e s u g g e s t i o n s for things that we would like to

      re c o m m e n d t h a t we think can help to make a

      di f f e r e n c e a n d make things a bit better.




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                     M R . C O CHRAN:     That's great.

                     S t a f f Sergeant Brian Beem, also, would you

      te l l u s a l i t t l e bit about yourself?

                     S S G B E EM:   My name is Sergeant Brian Beem.

      I' v e b e e n i n t h e Army for about a dozen years now.

      Ba c k d u r i n g m y second deployment to Iraq in 2006, I

      wa s l e a d i n g a p atrol through Baghdad, and my

      ve h i c l e w a s s t r uck by an IED.         The IED killed my

      se c t i o n l e a d e r and put a hole in my leg.

                     S o I w as medevacked.           About 19 days later

      my l e g h a d t o b e amputated.            Shortly after the

      am p u t a t i o n , I h ad decided that regardless of this,

      I w a n t e d t o s t a y in; I wanted to continue serving

      my c o u n t r y .   A n d I found out about a pro gram called

      CO A D , a n d i t w a s new to me.          I had never heard of

      it b e f o r e j u s t being a scout for all that time, and

      el e c t e d t o s t a y in.

                     A n d t o this day, I am dead glad that I

      di d .       I t w a s t h e right decision for me at the time,

      an d s i n c e t h e n I returned back to work.            Went back

      up t o F o r t W a i n wright, Alaska.            I've been up there

      si n c e .     I ' v e s e rved as training room NCO, a Rear D




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      fi r s t s e r g e a n t , and I am currently working in the

      S3 s h o p , p r e p a r ing for my unit's deployment next

      ye a r .

                 I t h o u ght it was really int eresting

      be c a u s e d u r i n g my time as Rear D, I was actually

      de a l i n g w i t h s o ldiers who were getting hurt and

      tr y i n g t o t a l k to them as wounded soldiers, you

      kn o w , j u s t a s R ear D from all the way up here, and

      ou r c a r e u p i n Fort Wainwright isn't as extensive

      a s i t i s , l e t ' s say, down here at WRAMC.     So all of

      ou r w o u n d e d s o l diers were Madigan, BAMC, MAMC,

      WR A M C , s p r e a d o ut all over the place so I'm

      co n s t a n t l y t a l k ing to them, communicating with

      th e m , a n d f i n d i ng out how they're doing.

                 A n d b e tween my time in th e WTU and the ir

      ti m e i n t h e W T U , as short as that was, I left in

      20 0 7 , a n d t h i s is 2009, two years later, I was

      im p r e s s e d a t t h e improvements that were going on.

      Pe o p l e w h o w e r e needing care were getting it faster

      th a n w h e n I w a s there.   The MEB/PEB proce ss was

      go i n g s m o o t h e r for these guys.

                 T h e r e ' s the new pilot program for the PEB




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      th a t ' s s u p p o s e d to work hand - in- hand with VA.     It

      st a r t e d o f f a l ittle sluggish, but I'm

      un d e r s t a n d i n g i t's going a lot smoother now, and I

      lo v e s e e i n g t h e se changes, its evo lution and

      pr o g r e s s .   A n d that's about all I got.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     You know, like he said,

      wa t c h i n g s o m e t h ing change from the top down is, and

      yo u s a i d s l u g g i sh, but it's really, you got to

      th i n k i t ' s t h e trickle down theory.           Everything has

      to s t a r t a t t h e top and it has to trickle down to

      th e r e s t o f o u r soldiers, sailors, airmen, and

      Ma r i n e s , a n d t h e same thing goes for the VA or

      Be t h e s d a a n d / o r Walter Reed.        It's having groups of

      pe o p l e l i k e y o u rselves in the rooms so that we can

      ex p r e s s t h e c h a nges that we need to see start

      tr i c k l i n g d o w n .

                     S S G B E EM:   I mean I'm saying it's a slow

      pr o c e s s , b u t w h en you're looking at an Army -wi de

      pr o c e s s t h a t a f fects so many thousands of

      in d i v i d u a l s h a p pening in two years and less and

      ha v i n g a n e f f e c tive change in two year s or less, I

      th i n k t h a t ' s f a ntastic.




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                    I s i t where it needs to be?                  Not yet.     Is

      it g e t t i n g t h e r e?   I'm convinced it is.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     I agree.          And Gabe has some

      st o r i e s a l s o .   We want to talk with him.               Go ahead

      an d t e l l e v e r y b ody a little bit about your self,

      Ga b e .

                    M R . D O WNES:    About myself?

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     Yeah.

                    M R . D O WNES:    Okay.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     And your whole story.                Just

      fi l l t h e m i n .

                    M R . D O WNES:    Oh, gosh.           Okay.     I was in

      th e m i l i t a r y .   I joined 2001, August, just before

      9/ 1 1 .     I j o i n e d as a tanker , did my time at Fort

      Kn o x .     S o I w e n t from joining the peaceful, you

      kn o w , a t t h e t i me, to a month later, we were going

      to w a r .     W e d o n 't know with who yet, but after the

      To w e r s w e n t d o w n and so on.

                    S o I w as sent to Fort Irwin, California,

      NT C , w h e r e w e d id the training for soldiers go ing

      ov e r s e a s , a n d d uring that time, I injured my back,

      an d I w a s m e d i c ally discharged in '04.                 I was




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      un a b l e t o f i n d a job because of my injuries and the

      me d i c a t i o n I w a s on.

                       S o m y wife decided -- well, she didn't

      re a l l y d e c i d e , but she wanted to go into the Army

      be c a u s e w e l o v e the military, we loved the

      ca m a r a d e r i e , t h e respect, everything about it, in

      ju s t t h e t w o -a n d- a- half years I was in.

                       S o s h e went in.   She knew what she was

      ge t t i n g i n t o .   She knew that she was going to be

      de p l o y e d b e c a u s e she decided she wanted to be an

      MP , w h i c h i s s o mething she was, you know, always

      wa n t i n g t o d o , some kind of criminal justice.         So

      sh e j o i n e d M P i n 2000 -- well, December 2004, and we

      ha v e t w o c h i l d r en, and she left both of them to go

      to p r o t e c t o u r country from any further terrorist

      at t a c k s .

                       S o l o n g story short, she was sent to

      Ge r m a n y o u t o f basic training, and a few months

      la t e r w e w e n t o ver there to join here.       She was out

      in t h e f i e l d p r obably two weeks out of the month.

      So f r o m S e p t e m b er to February, we probably spent

      tw o - a n d -a - h a l f months together, but during that




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      ti m e , y o u k n o w , we made the best of it.              We did

      wh a t w e c o u l d .

                     S h e g o t deployed to Afghanistan February

      15 o f ' 0 6 .          A n d during that time, I flew back to

      Te n n e s s e e t o s p end some time with family becau se I

      di d n ' t h a v e e n o ugh time to meet people while I was

      th e r e .    S o I w e nt back home with the kids to family

      su p p o r t , a n d s h e came home for, in November, for

      ou r s o n ' s b i r t h day and for her birthday because

      th e y ' r e f o u r d a ys ap art.

                     S o s h e took leave early.            She -- and

      me a n w h i l e I w a s in Germany taking care of some

      bu s i n e s s .       S o I flew in from Germany and we got to

      se e e a c h o t h e r , and she went, she was supposed to

      st a y u p u n t i l T hanksgiving, but she went back

      ea r l y , a n d t h e n we le ft, we got pictures taken of

      th e f a m i l y , a n d it was a, you know, difficult for

      th e k i d s t o s e e their mom leave again, but Sue had

      th e c h a n c e t o s tay home with me because of my

      di s a b i l i t y , b u t she felt, well, she didn't feel

      ob l i g a t i o n .     S h e wanted to be th ere with her unit.

                     T h a t w as her family as well.            So she went




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      ba c k , a n d t h e y flew her -- she got into Bagram d ay

      be f o r e T h a n k s g i ving, and she was supposed to stay

      un t i l D e c e m b e r 1.   She elected -- her unit came back

      an d t o o k h e r b a ck to her FOB in Afghanistan, and

      th e 2 6 t h- - s h e g ot there the 26th.           The 27th, she

      st a y e d b e h i n d o r she stayed and unpacked.          The

      28 t h , I g o t a c all in the morning, you know, she's

      li k e I ' m g o i n g out on a mission because she always

      ca l l e d b e f o r e s he went on a mission.

                       I w a s like, oka y, you know, I'll talk to

      yo u w h e n y o u g e t home in about a day or so.            And

      sh e ' s l i k e o k a y , and she volunteered to go on a

      mi s s i o n .     T h e y were the lead Humvee, and I got a

      ca l l - - I d i d n ' t get a call for like two days so

      so m e t i m e s t h a t wasn't, you know, out of the normal,

      bu t I k n o w t h e phone rang about ten, about 10:30,

      in t h e m o r n i n g , and I was like, all right, cool,

      sh e ' s b a c k .

                       W e l l , it wasn't her voice, and I saw the

      nu m b e r b e c a u s e I always know when she calls by the

      ar e a c o d e .     S o I picked up, I was li ke, hey, a nd

      th e g e n t l e m a n w as like are you Mr. Downes, blah -




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      bl a h , y o u k n o w ?    I'm like yeah.            She's like or he's

      li k e I ' m s o r r y to inform you your wife has been in

      an a c c i d e n t , a n d she's critically injured, and at

      th e t i m e I d i d n 't know anything else other tha n he

      sa i d t h a t s h e h ad lost one leg.

                     So--

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      And your wife is here today;

      ri g h t ?

                     M R . D O WNES:      Yes, my wife is right there.

      Sh e ' s t h e o n e , she's the hero.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      Stand up.        There she is.

      Ev e r y b o d y g i v e her a round of applause also .

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M R . D O WNES:      She's a little shy.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      We hear a lot about spouses

      de a l i n g w i t h P T SD.       We don't really get to see a

      ve t e r a n w h o w a s in the military prior, and having a

      wi f e c o m e h o m e or a husband come home from combat

      wi t h P o s t T r a u m atic Stress or TBI, Traumatic B rain

      In j u r y .

                     I t w o u ld be interesting to hear later on

      ma y b e m o r e h o w you dealt with, you know, with




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      wh a t ' s s h e b e e n through, how, you know, because I

      kn o w i n m y o w n experiences with a fiance, who had

      no t b e e n t o c o m bat, w ho had not been in the

      mi l i t a r y , w h o d idn't know any of our structure, how

      we w o r k , i t ' s a lmost like PTSD can be, it can be

      co n t a g i o u s w h e n you come home.            The things that

      yo u ' r e d o i n g , y ou can pass on to your spouse or

      yo u r l o v e d o n e , and that's something that we really

      ha v e t o c o m b a t .

                    B e c a u s e now we're trying to fix the

      so l d i e r , s a i l o r , airman and Marine.           What are we

      do i n g f o r t h e i r spouses that are home going through

      th e s e c o n d a r y P TSD, second - hand PTSD, I guess is

      wh a t y o u c a l l i t?

                    A n d l a st, but defi nitely not least,

      Co l o n e l S u t h e r l and.     Please, please, go ahead and

      te l l u s a l i t t l e bit about yourself.               I've read

      yo u r b i o , a n d t hank you for your service, as well

      as e v e r y b o d y o n this panel, to our country and to

      ou r v e t e r a n s , a nd please let us --

                    C O L SU T HERLAND:          I'm Dave Sutherland.        I

      am B o n n i e ' s h u s band, and I am the mentor and




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      ad v o c a t e f o r t w o young men 14 and 16, both of whom

      ha v e p e r s o n a l h ygiene issues but are honorable and

      go o d y o u n g m e n .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S S G B E EM:       An invisible disability.

                     C O L S UT HERLAND:       I'm also an advocate and

      a m e n t o r f o r 2 . 2 million men and women in uniform,

      fo r o n e p e r c e n t of the population that have served

      in u n i f o r m .

                     A n d I commanded 3rd Brigade 1st Cavalry

      Di v i s i o n d u r i n g the Surge in Diyala Province, Iraq,

      an d w h e n I r e t u rned from Iraq, I didn't fit in.               I

      le f t m y f a m i l y and I deployed with my larger

      fa m i l y , a n d w h e n I returned home to Bonnie and the

      bo y s , I f e l t l i ke I didn't fit in.             And I worked

      th r o u g h s o m e c h allenges, and I was assigned after

      gi v i n g u p c o m m a nd of my brigade combat team to the

      Pe n t a g o n .

                     A n d q u ite honestly, I was assigned to J5,

      re s p o n s i b l e f o r Plans, Policy and Strategy for the

      Mi d d l e E a s t R e g ion.       And the only time I really

      kn e w w h a t I w a s doing after 26 years of tactical




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      an d o p e r a t i o n a l assignmen ts was when I was in the

      gy m w o r k i n g o u t .

                     B u t I didn't have a personal reason.

      Th e r e w a s n o t h i ng connecting me.           After giving up

      co m m a n d i n c o m b at and having personal relevance,

      yo u g o t o t h e P entagon.         So I started going to

      Wa l t e r R e e d e v e ryday and Bet hesda and visiting our

      tr o o p s .    A n d I started connecting with guys like

      Se r g e a n t B e e m , who -- and eventually through tha t,

      we n t t o - - b a c k t o Iraq on Operation Proper Exit, the

      fi r s t t r i p .

                     A n d I saw the power of public and private

      pa r t n e r s h i p .   I saw the powe r of the change it can

      ma k e w h e n y o u l ook at our servicemembers as

      in d i v i d u a l s a n d each of them having unique needs,

      an d o u r f a m i l i e s having unique needs as well.

                     S e r g e a nt First Class Schlitz has unique

      ne e d s .     W e c a n ' t put him in a cookie cutter

      so l u t i o n a n d t h ink it's going to solve all of his

      is s u e s a n d c h a l lenges.

                     A n d I saw the power of that by

      pa r t i c i p a t i n g w ith a group called Troops First




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      Fo u n d a t i o n a n d going back to Iraq, and I also began

      pa r t i c i p a t i n g w ith another group called No Greater

      Sa c r i f i ce .   I l ost 110 kids in Iraq, and the

      ed u c a t i o n n e e d s for them and the education needs

      fo r o u r w o u n d e d became a priority for me.

                     W e w i l l not tolerate another generation of

      ho m e l e s s v e t e r a ns, and we definitely aren't going

      to t o l e r a t e o u r children of our ve terans being

      ho m e l e s s .

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     C O L S U THERLAND:      So after working with

      Tr o o p s F i r s t F o undation and seeing Sergeant Beem go

      on a t r i p , a s u bsequent trip, and Sergeant First

      Cl a s s S c h l i t z , who you all met earlier, go on

      an o t h e r t r i p , a nd saw the changes that took pl ace,

      I s t a r t e d a d v o c ating for a need for more

      re s p o n s i b i l i t y at community level, at the

      co m m u n i t i e s t a k ing charge and assisting.      In combat

      op e r a t i o n s , m i s sed opportunities and delays are

      so m e t h i n g I a b s olutely despise.

                     M i s s e d opportunities a nd delays normally

      re s u l t i n t r a g i c outcomes.        We can't tolerate




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      mi s s e d o p p o r t u n ities and delays so where do we

      so l v e t h o s e ?         A t the personal level, at the

      co m m u n i t y l e v e l .     We don't reintegrate into

      go v e r n m e n t o r g a nizations.        We don't leave the

      se r v i c e a n d g o home to a government agency.               We go

      ho m e t o n e i g h b o rs, friends, families and

      ne i g h b o r h o o d s .

                      A n d t h ey understand what we're going

      th r o u g h , a n d s o in January after hearing that I

      wa s n ' t d o i n g m y job well in J5, because I didn't

      so l v e t h e M i d d l e East pr oblem, and the peace

      pr o c e s s , t h e C h airman asked me to come up and take

      th e l e a d o n a n initiative for him, and I have a

      di r e c t r e p o r t t o the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

      of S t a f f , a n d t hose of you in business and large

      or g a n i z a t i o n s u nderstand that I have a direct

      re p o r t t o h i m .         No one gets in my way, and not

      be c a u s e I ' m D a v e Sutherland, but because this is --

      th e C h a i r m a n i s possessed with this issue.

                      T o s a y he's passionate is an

      un d e r s t a t e m e n t .    He is absolutely possessed with

      wa r r i o r c a r e a n d family care and families of t he




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      fa l l e n , a n d s o he is actually expending a great

      de a l o f p o l i t i c al capital now going out and doing

      to w n h a l l m e e t i ngs.

                     W e ' v e done about 16 of them in the past

      fe w m o n t h s - - i n New York City, Columbia University;

      in P i t t s b u r g h , Pennsylva nia; Morgantown, West

      Vi r g i n i a ; L o s A ngles; Denver; Cleveland; Chicago;

      an d D e t r o i t - -t a lking to the communities about the

      ne e d s o f o u r p e ople and trying to connect.

                     A n d t h is is my responsibility, connect

      th o s e a g e n c i e s , those departments, those education

      co m m u n i t i e s , e m ployment communities, and health

      ca r e c o m m u n i t i e s together into one consortium in a

      ne i g h b o r h o o d , i n a community of a metropolis or

      de p e n d s o n t h e unique needs of the area.

                     T h e n e eds of our warriors in places like

      Mo r g a n t o w n , W e s t Virginia , a little more rural , and

      Be t h a n y , W e s t V irginia is much different than the

      ne e d s a n d t h e r esources that are available say in

      Pi t t s b u r g h .   B u t there are stovepipes.     If you

      th i n k t h e r e a r e stovepipes in the Department of

      De f e n s e a n d t h e VA, there are stov epipes in




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      co m m u n i t i e s a s well.

                       W h a t w e try to do is reduce those gaps,

      re d u c e t h e c h a s ms, make sure they understand that

      ou r f e m a l e w a r r iors have unique needs.      Issues of

      se x u a l a s s a u l t and abuse need to be addressed.          The

      fa m i l i e s a n d f a milies of our fal len have many needs

      th a t n e e d t o b e addressed, and they're addressed by

      40 0 , 0 0 0 , b y l a s t count, organizations that want to

      he l p .

                       T h i s d esire across this country to help

      ou r r e t u r n i n g w arriors, our wounded, ill and

      in j u r e d , o u r f a milies and the families o f our

      fa l l e n , t h e C h a irman refers to it as a "sea of

      go o d w i l l , " a n a utical term, because he's an

      ad m i r a l .     T h e r e fore --and I've accepted the ter m

      be c a u s e h e ' s t h e Chairman, and the truth is, is

      re a l l y i t i s .

                       B u t h o w do you harness that sea of

      go o d w i l l ?    H o w do you take those 400,000 priva te

      or g a n i z a t i o n s , the No Greater Sacrifice, the Troops

      Fi r s t F o u n d a t i o n, the Veterans Service

      Or g a n i z a t i o n s , and bring that all together into one




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      co m m u n i t y ?   N o t to mention the VA and the great

      th i n g s t h e y d o with health be nefits and health

      ca r e .

                     B u t t h ere are gaps, and how do we fill

      th o s e ?    H o w d o we take a kid like Michael Burgess

      wh o l o s t h i s l e g in 1991, during Desert Storm and

      ge t h i m a n e w p rotheses if he hasn't enrolled for

      so m e o f t h e s e r vices.

                     C a l i f o rnia as a res ult of this is now

      ha v i n g e v e r y p e rson applying for a driver's

      li c e n s e , t h e y a ctually mark whether they've served

      in t h e m i l i t a r y , not are you a veteran, but have

      yo u s e r v e d i n t he military?       So they can make sure

      th e y ' r e c o n n e c t ed to the VA and get enroll ed, and

      th e r e f o r e t h e i r enrollment has gone up.    And it's

      fa s c i n a t i n g t o see this sea of goodwill once you

      ex p l a i n w h a t ' s going on and connect them to the

      ne e d s o f t h e i n dividual.

                     S o t h a t's what I get to do.     And I'm on a

      50 s t a t e i n 5 0 week tour, and so my sons miss me,

      an d m y w i f e m i s ses me, but I'm not getting shot at

      or b l o w n u p s o I'm okay.        And the truth is, is that




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      th i s i s v e r y i m portant, and it's I think where we

      so l v e a n d h e l p at that level.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:       I don't think I could have

      sa i d a n y t h i n g t hat you didn't touch on, sir, e xcept

      th a t 5 0 w e e k / 5 0 state thing, we'll talk about

      la t e r .   I n e e d some shows.           So we'll try to see if

      yo u n e e d a t h e m e song or something to go along,

      co u n t r y m u s i c a long the way.

                    Y o u k n ow, we've talked about obviously the

      ne e d s a n d t h e g aps that you were talking about.           So

      wh a t a r e w a y s t hat we can help with those gaps to

      cl o s e t h o s e ?    Y ou talked about the VA, along with

      ev e n o u r c i v i l i an organizations, like the Semper Fi

      Fu n d a n d t h e O p eration Troop Aid, who would pitch

      i n a l o t t h e r e to help fill in those gaps, but at

      th e s a m e t i m e w e still have huge ones.

                    W h a t d o we do to fix those gaps?         What do

      we d o t o c o n t i n ue the therapy for Post Traumatic

      St r e s s s u c h a s the cognitive therapy or the

      ex p o s u r e t h e r a p y?   What do we do to change the

      gr o u p s e t t i n g s that we're doing for PTSD?

                    B e c a u s e like you said, you can't group our




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      ve t e r a n s t o g e t h er.    There's even, not even the

      di f f e r e n c e b e t w een like you said in Morgantown,

      We s t V i r g i n i a a nd Bethany, West Virginia, there's

      di f f e r e n c e s i n s ide of the VA or that medical

      ho s p i t a l j u s t i n what your MOS was.           And we're

      tr y i n g t o t a k e an O3 -11 or infantryman and put him

      in t h e s a m e t h e rapy session with someone who might

      no t h a v e s e e n t he extreme intense fire that he did.

                     N o w , a re we going to call BS, and say, oh,

      be c a u s e y o u d i d n't see this level of firefight,

      th e n w e ' r e g o i n g to say you don't have PTSD?              Hell

      no , b e c a u s e e v e rybody has a different breaking

      po i n t .     H o w e v e r , do we need to take those veterans,

      th o s e R a n g e r s , recon, SEALs, infa ntrymen, and stick

      th e m i n a r o o m with a mail delivery carrier and

      th e n , n o , t h a t ' s not going to help the process

      ei t h e r .

                     S o w h a t is going to help the process?

      Th a t ' s w h y w e ' r e here today.           We're here today to

      tr y t o f i g u r e o ut what's broken, what gaps a re , and

      ho w w e c a n f i x it or how we can tell the people in

      th i s r o o m t o h e lp us fix it.             That's the main part




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      wh y w e ' r e h e r e .

                    S o , D r . Gans, please tell us -- I know t his

      is y o u r e x p e r t i se --

                    D R . G A NS:      Right.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:        -- how can we fix those g aps

      an d t h o s e h o l e s ?

                    D R . G A NS:      Well, I do have a specific

      su g g e s t i o n , a n d among that sea of willing people

      tr y i n g t o h e l p , a population we didn't actually

      me n t i o n e x p l i c i tly but I'm sure it's on your list

      ar e t h e a c t u a l providers of care in the civilian

      co m m u n i t y , t h e 1,100 rehabilitation hospitals, the

      5, 0 0 0 h o s p i t a l s , the hundreds of thousands of

      he a l t h c a r e p r o viders in our communities today who

      ar e t a k i n g c a r e of people with the same problems

      th a t o u r w o u n d e d warriors have experienced.

                    T h e r e are nuances of di fference.        There

      ar e m a n y d i f f e r ences, but we have over a million

      br a i n i n j u r i e s a year in this country, and there is

      ca p a c i t y , t h e r e is talent, there is expertise.

      Wh a t t h e r e i s n ' t is a way of connecting those good

      pr o v i d e r s t o t h e military and the veter an syst em.




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                     T h r e e years ago I was asked to testify at

      th e S e n a t e V e t e rans Affairs Committee and made a

      sp e c i f i c r e c o m m endation, form an oversight council,

      an d a d v i s o r y c o uncil, to bring the three segments

      to g e t h e r , t h e D epartment of Defense, the Veterans

      A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , and the private provider community.

                     L e t u s work together.      We in the private

      se c t o r k n o w w h o the providers are.       We can help

      id e n t i f y s t r i c t criteria to establish who are the

      hi g h q u a l i t y p r oviders, closer to where you live,

      cl o s e r t o w h e r e your wounded warriors want to get

      ac c e s s t o c a r e , where the families don't have to be

      di s r u p t e d a s m u ch by distant travel, and we can

      wo r k t o g e t h e r t o figure out mechanisms to channel

      in d i v i d u a l s t o the most appropriate setting that is

      se n s i t i v e t o t h e cu lture of the military, as w ell

      as t e c h n i c a l l y expert and capable of providing

      se r v i c e s .

                     I m a d e that same recommendation in May

      wh e n t h e S e n a t e Committee on Veterans Affairs asked

      me c o m e b a c k a n d speak again, and I'm making it

      to d a y t o y o u a l l because you actually have the




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      po w e r t o t a k e t hat idea and do something with it,

      an d t h e r e i s c a pacity by working together.

                   W e h a v e a willing population of providers

      th a t w a n t t o h e lp.      There are ways that that can

      wo r k a n d w e c a n make a difference just as Mike

      Da b b s s a i d e a r l y in the panel that he was on.

                   C O L S U THERLAND:        Can I just touch on that

      be c a u s e I a b s o l utely agree, sir?

                   M R . C O CHRAN:       Yes.

                   C O L S U THERLAND:        We have, based on the

      Ch a i r m a n ' s g u i d ance, come up with what we refer to

      as t h e R e i n t e g r ation Trinity , and we use "trinity"

      fo r a r e a s o n .   But the foundation of that in our

      mi n d i s e d u c a t i on.    When I was a kid and graduated

      fr o m h i g h s c h o o l a few years ago, just a couple, I

      co u l d g r a d u a t e with my high school and be very

      su c c e s s f u l w i t h a high school degre e.

                   N o w , y ou need some sort of education with

      a d e g r e e , c o m p l ete degree associated with higher

      le a r n i n g , e v e n if it's carpentry school, a trade

      sc h o o l , b u t s o m e sort of degree producing.

                   T h e o t her aspect of the trinity is




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      me a n i n g f u l e m p l oyment and access to health care,

      an d t h a t a c c e s s to health care is exactly what

      yo u ' r e t a l k i n g about.     It's information and options

      th a t a r e a v a i l a ble to our families, to the families

      of t h e f a l l e n , to our warriors when they come back

      be y o n d - -a n d I ' l l go to Sergeant Schlit z, and

      Op e r a t i o n M e n d at UCLA.

                     T h e y r eached out.    They provided him the

      re c o n s t r u c t i o n surgery that he needed that was not

      in t h e s y s t e m w e had, and they did it through a

      be n e v o l e n t e f f o rt to take care of him.   There are

      op t i o n s a n d i n f ormation.     He found out about i t a

      di f f e r e n t w a y .

                     T h e y a ctually do hand transplants now.

      We ' v e d o n e 5 7 h and transplants across the nation.

      Th e r e a r e t h r e e quad amputees at Walter Reed and

      Be t h e s d a .   T h e number of decisions that had to be

      ma d e v e r y q u i c k ly on the battlefie ld to save t hose

      so l d i e r s a n d M a rines lives are amazing.

                     Y e t , I 've shaken the hand of a Marine who

      ha d a c o m p l e t e hand transplant, lost his right hand

      in a t r a i n i n g a ccident at Quantico, and this was




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      do n e , t h i s e f f o rt was done through Pittsburgh

      Me d i c a l C e n t e r and the McGowan Institute, and it's

      lo a d - b e a r i n g .   He squeezed very hard, and there are

      op t i o n s o u t t h e re besides just what exists.

                       Q u i t e honestly, I was impressed this

      mo r n i n g w h e n I saw John Campbell, Deputy Under

      Se c r e t a r y o f D e fense Campbell, be cause he

      un d e r s t a n d s t h e power of exactly what we're talking

      ab o u t , t h i s p r i vate and public partnership and

      li n k i n g t h e s e s ervicemembers, as does Dr. Clifford

      St a n l e y .

                       M R . C O CHRAN:   I think the private sector

      al o n g w i t h t h e DoD and the VA, like you said, it's

      no t , i t ' s a n e c essity now, has to happen.          It's

      we ' r e p a s t t h e point of dreams and making hope and

      re a l i t y ; i t h a s to happen.         We've got 36,000

      in j u r e d t r o o p s that we've got coming back, and

      th a t ' s n o t , a n d the reason we have that is because

      of t h e g r e a t m e dical staff we have in the fields,

      th e c o r p s m e n , t he medics.

                       I k n o w from my injury till the time that I

      wa s i n K a n d a h a r was nil to nothing, and I was in




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      Ge r m a n y t h e n e x t day and Bethesda the next day

      af t e r t h a t .   W e 're looking at ten years ago no

      c h a n c e o f m e w a lking, probably not surviving.

                     N o w w e 're looking at our medical staffs

      wh i c h a r e g e t t i ng people back quicker so we're

      ha v i n g t o d e a l with a lot larger casualty rate,

      me n t a l l y , p h y s i cally, coming back.        We have to be

      re a d y t o r e s p o n d to that.

                     F o l k s , we're the only country where one

      pe r c e n t o f t h e population steps up to defend 99

      pe r c e n t o f i t .   Everywhere else has a royalty type

      sy s t e m w h e r e o n e percent is protected by them.

      We ' v e g o t t o d o our best to make sure that we give

      th e m t h a t q u a l i t y of life back that they had b efore

      th e y w e n t i n t h ere.

                     W i t h m y story, the VA, Vanderbilt,

      Be t h e s d a , t h e y didn't know I was going to go on to

      be c o m e a c o u n t r y music singer or to have a platform

      to s p e a k f r o m , they just knew that I was a veteran

      th a t h a d b e e n i njured in combat, and they wanted to

      gi v e m e t h e q u a lity of life back.            We've got to

      co n t i n u e .




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                     T h i s i s our fight here.            They have their

      fi g h t t h e r e .     O ur fight here is to take this health

      ca r e , p a s s i t o n to them, and give them that

      qu a l i t y o f l i f e b ack.

                     G a b e l ives two - and - a-half hours from a VA

      ho s p i t a l .     W h a t are we going to do about that gap?

      No w w e ' v e g o t t he medical facilities; how do we get

      th i s m a n t o i t ?      His wife to it?           It's two - and -a-

      ha l f h o u r s o f d riving, and he can't sit that long

      wi t h h i s b a c k .     So you got two -and -a- half hours of

      dr i v i n g t o t h e closest facility; what do we do

      ab o u t t h a t ?

                     D R . G A NS:   Well, I have a partial solution

      fo r t h a t o n e a s well, and it's partly through

      te c h n o l o g y , a n d there is now the concept of

      te l e h e a l t h a n d ev en telerehabilitation, and it is

      po s s i b l e d e p e n d ing on the specific problems and

      ne e d s t o u s e r e mote access technologies, video,

      au d i o , e v e n h a p tic, even the ability to sense and

      to m o v e , t o p r o vide assessments, provide

      re c o m m e n d a t i o n s , to help with long -distance

      re f e r r a l s s o t h at at least to some degree, the




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      pr o b l e m s o f t r a nsportation and barriers can

      di s a p p e a r .

                       I f y o u have iPhone 4, you can have a video

      fa c e c h a t r i g h t now with somebody else on the

      te l e p h o n e .     Y o u can talk to the person and see

      th e m .    T h e r e ' s a lot that can be done medically and

      th e r a p e u t i c a l l y just with simple technologies if we

      ha v e a r a t i o n a l strategy for deploying it and

      ta k i n g a d v a n t a g e of the research that is being done

      in t h e p r i v a t e sector as well as DARPA and in the

      mi l i t a r y s e c t o r .

                       T h e r e are advances; there is capacity.

      Wh a t w e n e e d i s to recognize that we have to deploy

      th e s e a n d u s e t hem creatively and effectively to

      he l p s o l v e t h e s e problems.

                       M R . C O CHRAN:   Deployment is the best.

      Ex a c t l y .       W e h a ve to deploy the things, the as sets

      th a t w e h a v e .      Getting them to, I think, come drink

      at t h e w a t e r h o l e is just as hard as getting the

      wa t e r h o l e t o t h em.

                       I k n o w that one of the hardest things for

      a l o t o f M a r i n e s, sailors, soldiers to admit is




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      Po s t T r a u m a t i c Stress Disorder.              But I think that --

      ha v i n g i t a n y w a y -- because where you're told for the

      wh o l e t i m e t h a t you're in the military, you're told

      yo u ' r e h a r d , y o u're hard, and I got out of the

      Ma r i n e C o r p s a n d learned the other word for "hard"

      is " s t u p i d . "

                    A n d s o it's like saying we have the cure

      fo r c a n c e r h e r e at the VA, here at Bethesda or at

      Wa l t e r R e e d , a n d saying, no, I'm too tough.              I'm

      go i n g t o j u s t k eep my cancer.            No.      We have the

      cu r e .   W e h a v e a cure for PTSD.                We're realizing

      co g n i t i v e t h e r a py is working.

                    S o w h a t is not working?              The way that

      we ' r e t e l l i n g t hese warriors that they have PTSD.

      We ' r e u s i n g s o m e things that are associated with

      ot h e r t a b o o t h i ngs.     We're saying, "Hey, did you

      he a r C o l o n e l S u therland came out with PTSD?"                Now

      wh a t w o r d s d i d I just use before that?                He "came

      ou t w i t h P T " - -I didn't come out with shit.

                    [ L a u g h ter.]

                    M R . C O CHRAN:       Not me.      I'm a Marine.

                    [ L a u g h ter.]




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                     M R . C O CHRAN:     So why don't we change up

      th e t e r m i n o l o g y to "Colonel Sutherland -- did you

      he a r h e ' s n o r m a l?"    He's normal.          He has Pos t

      Tr a u m a t i c S t r e s s because his mind -- I don't mea n to

      pi c k o n y o u , s i r --

                     C O L S U THERLAND:      I'm all right with it.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     -- his mind was not built to

      go d o t h e t h i n g s that our young men and women are

      do i n g i n c o m b a t right now.         You know at some point

      we r e a l i z e t h a t we're humans, and we're taking

      ot h e r h u m a n s ' l ives, and that's a lot for your mind

      to b e a r .

                     Y e s , w e all went into it.           We all knew

      wh a t w a s g o i n g to happen.         We didn't know we were

      go i n g t o s e e c h ildren.        I don't think anybody

      pr e p a r e s- - y o u c an prepare yourself for stuff like

      th a t .   S o i f w e say you're normal, thank God.

                     I r e m e mber when I went through this thing

      ca l l e d S i l e n t S ensory Removal, and they talked

      ab o u t a n d t h e y said out of the Marine Corps, only

      te n p e r c e n t o f you will be able to do this in

      co m b a t , a n d w e ' re hoping with you being recon




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      sc o u t s t h a t w e ' ve found that ten percent.

                     F i v e p ercent of you will have traumatic

      br a i n p r o b l e m s with it afterwards, and five percent

      of y o u w i l l e n j oy it, and that five percent of you

      th a t e n j o y s i t , you're going to be serial killers

      if y o u h a d n ' t j oined the Marine Corps.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     So what is different about

      co m b a t ?    T h e r e ' s nothing about combat.       You're

      st i l l t a k i n g a mass group of Americans, your sons,

      yo u r d a u g h t e r s , that yo u watch play in mud puddles

      or w h e r e v e r , a n d they've grown up, and now you're

      se n d i n g t h e m o v er there to take someone else's

      so n s ' a n d d a u g h ters' lives for our country, which

      we w o u l d d e f i n i tely stand up and do.         That's what

      we d o .       W e ' r e A mericans.     If we have to.

                     B u t w e also go by the no greater friend,

      no w o r s e e n e m y thing.       But if we tell them you came

      ou t w i t h i t o r you have this PTSD thing, no, you're

      no r m a l , y o u ' r e supposed to have it.         If you don't,

      yo u ' r e t h e o n e that needs therapy immediately

      be c a u s e y o u ' r e that five percent that would enjoy




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      it .

                    [ A p p l a use.]

                    M R . C O CHRAN:        So we got to get that

      me s s a g e t o t h e m , sir.

                    C O L S U THERLAND:         You're absolutely right,

      an d i t ' s o k a y .    Look, it's leadership.        It's

      or g a n i z a t i o n a l as well as direct leadership.       It's

      un d e r s t a n d i n g a nd empathizing with what's going on.

      It ' s d e f e a t i n g any idea a stigma associated with

      it .    A n d q u i t e honestly, I mean, look, I was a

      br i g a d e c o m m a n d er.    I had a company commander that

      go t b l o w n u p 7 0 times, 7 -0.

                    I h a d an organization where a suicide

      bo m b e r w e n t o f f nine feet from the commander and

      ki l l e d 2 4 , w o u n ded 36.        I had an organization that

      we n t i n t o a t o r ture house, and in one corner were

      he a d s , a n o t h e r corner were legs, another corner

      we r e a r m s , a n d another corner were torsos of men,

      wo m e n a n d c h i l d ren, about 17 of them.

                    1 7 , 1 8 , 19, 49 - year -olds are not suppo sed

      to e x p e r i e n c e t hat.      It has an effect.    And placing

      a s t i g m a t o i t is unacceptable anymore.           And the




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      le a d e r s , t h e N C O corps, Sergeant Beem and I went to

      di n n e r l a s t n i g ht, we understand.           Are we goin g to

      ov e r c o m e i t ?     S ure, we will.       We'll overcome the

      st i g m a .

                     W e ' l l recognize the problems and the

      ch a l l e n g e s , a n d we'll treat them.          Because we've

      go t l e a d e r s h i p .   Because it's going to be involved.

      Be c a u s e w e ' r e g oing to provide that behavioral

      he a l t h c a r e .

                     U S C , U niversity of Southern California,

      an d t h e i r S c h o o l of Social Work is now training

      th e i r c l i n i c i a n s to deal with military going

      th r o u g h P o s t T r aumatic Stress, and it's not a

      di s o r d e r .     I t ' s Post Traumatic Stress .       It's a

      ch a l l e n g e .     B u t the training that's going on for

      th o s e c l i n i c i a n s -- because Beem and I talked last

      ni g h t .     W e d o n ' t want to talk to them.         We got

      tr u s t i s s u e s .

                     T h e l a st time I trusted somebody I left

      th e g o a t g r a b a nd I got blown up.             We got trus t

      is s u e s , a n d s o when we talk to a clinician, social

      wo r k e r , p s y c h o l ogist, we want them to know what




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      th e y ' r e d o i n g a nd what they're talking about.              And

      so U S C h a s g o t a training program for these folks

      to d e a l w i t h m i litary.

                     T h e y ' v e got an avatar.           They a ctually talk

      to i t , a n d t h e n they've got people with military

      ex p e r i e n c e g i v i ng an after - action review to the

      cl i n i c i a n .   I w ant them to have a sergeant pull out

      a b a y o n e t a n d s tart carving his name into the table

      an d s e e h o w t h e y react to that.

                     B u t I mea n you tell them what you said

      ye s t e r d a y a b o u t the stigma thing other than "man

      up , s i r . "

                     M R . C O CHRAN:       Me?

                     C O L S U THERLAND:          No.   Sergeant Beem.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:       Oh, I thought you were

      ta l k i n g t o S e r g eant Beem.          I was like I didn't eat

      di n n e r w i t h y o u last night.

                     S S G B E EM:       I get kind of long -winded.       I'm

      no t e x a c t l y s u r e what I said to you.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S S G B E EM:       So far as stigma goes, I

      ac t u a l l y h a v e a little bit of a story.              It involves




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      a p r i v a t e , a y o ung E -5, and a crusty old NCO w ho's

      ha r d s e t i n h i s ways; right?

                    A n d t h e private had just come back from

      de p l o y m e n t a n d was having trouble keeping up with

      th e s e r u n s , a n d the E - 5 is trying to tell his

      pl a t o o n s e r g e a n t, well, yeah, he's falling out,

      he ' s g o t a w e a k heart.     He's got a weak heart.

                    N o w , t he old crusty platoon sergeant w as

      th e t y p e o f g u y where you'd sit there and expect to

      he a r h i m s a y , w ell, you know, give him some Motrin,

      sm o k e h i m l a t e r or whatever, and it was the old guy

      wh o ' s s e t i n h i s ways, who doesn't want to admit to

      an y f a u l t , w h o actually stepped back and said,

      we l l , h e j u s t c ame back from a deployment.        Does he

      ne e d t o t a l k t o somebody?

                    T h a t ' s a huge difference from -- I'm

      re m e m b e r i n g m y old crusty NCOs when I first came

      in .    I ' d a - b e e n smoked everyday for the next month

      if I h a d b e e n t hat private, but when these older

      le a d e r s h a v e b e en around it for so long, it's

      si n k i n g i n .   T h e stigma, it's not gone, and I don't

      th i n k i t w i l l e ver be gone, but so long as there's




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      on e p e r s o n i n t hat soldier's chain of command who

      re a l i z e s t h a t i t's a legitimate issue, it can be

      ad d r e s s e d .     I t can be fixed and it can be caught.

                     C O L S U THERLAND:      Then you got family

      me m b e r s a l s o w h o have to deal with some sort of

      st r e s s a s w e l l .    I mean you've had to deal with

      th a t ; r i g h t ?

                     M R . D O WNES:     Yes, sir.

                     C O L S U T HERLAND:     Even your long rides.

                     M R . D O WNES:     Yes, sir.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     Go ahead, sir.

                     D R . G A NS:     One of the things about the

      in v i s i b i l i t y o f this problem of Post Traumatic

      St r e s s D i s o r d e r is that it doesn't have to stay

      in v i s i b l e .     I t doesn't need to be camouflaged.

                     T h e r e are emerging diagnostic techniques

      to a c t u a l l y b e able to see it, to measure it, to

      de s c r i b e i t , a n d even to monitor the change and the

      pr o g r e s s .     T h e r e are neurological imaging

      te c h n i q u e s t h a t are becoming available in medicine,

      qu a n t i t a t i v e e l ectroencephalography, functional

      ma g n e t i c r e s o n a nce imaging, a number of other




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      te c h n i q u e s t h a t are starting to be able to allow us

      to m a k e i t v i s i ble, the anatomy of what's going on

      in s i d e t h e h e a d .

                     A n d h o pefully with research being funded,

      wi t h t h o s e t e c h niques becoming adopted again, and

      st a r t i n g t o b e used, we can show the physical

      ev i d e n c e o f w h a t is being experienced by folks with

      Po s t T r a u m a t i c Stress Disorder and mild brain

      in j u r i e s , a n d b e able to help not only, if you

      wi l l , l e g i t i m i z e it and show people how there's

      so m e t h i n g o b j e c tive, it's not just how you're

      fe e l i n g , a n d w e can also monitor and guide

      tr e a t m e n t .   S o these are exciting and promising

      ar e a s t h a t w e s hould be looking forward to.

                     C O L S U THERLAND:    And it's okay -- and the

      ot h e r t h i n g , i f I can tap on to that -- you know, in

      Bo s t o n , t h e y h a ve a program up there where the

      ba s e b a l l p l a y e r s are actually on TV saying it's

      ok a y t o a s k f o r help.      Doing public service

      an n o u n c e m e n t s , you actually have Medal of Honor

      re c i p i e n t s o n T V sayi ng it's okay to ask for h elp.

                     W e d i d n't have these resources available




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      wh e n w e c a m e h o me, and thank God for our Vietnam

      ve t e r a n s b e c a u s e now we can talk about this, and

      we ' r e n o t r e l y i ng on just saying shove it under the

      ta b l e .    W e ' r e d iscussing it.      We'r e discussing it

      op e n l y h e r e .

                     T h e C h airman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

      an d t h e S e r v i c e Chiefs are discussing it, and

      yo u ' v e g o t b a s e ball players saying it's okay, and

      th e y ' r e c o n n e c t ing, in that particular city, Mass

      Ge n e r a l w i t h t h e VA so they are incr easing the ir

      ca p a c i t y , a n d t hen we've got these folks looking at

      it , l i k e T e n l e y Albright at MIT, and she's doing a

      sy s t e m s a p p r o a c h study of it that will give us more

      ca p a b i l i t y .

                     B u t t h at's what I want to be able to do.

      I w a n t t o b e a b le to tell my troo ps, look, if

      yo u ' v e g o t a p r oblem, we're going to get you help.

      We o w e y o u t h a t .   And it's okay to ask.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:   Like you said, we came home,

      th a t w a s d e f i n i tely not available to us.       I know

      wh e n I c a m e b a c k from Iraq from my first tour, we

      ma d e a j o k e o u t of it.       We called it "going to see




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      th e w i z a r d . "     A nd they would send you to see the

      wi z a r d , a n d y o u had to go talk to the wizard, and

      we m a d e a g a m e about it, who could freak the wizard

      ou t t h e w o r s t ?

                    S o y o u go see the wizard, and when you see

      hi m j u s t w r i t i n g on this piece of paper like that

      be c a u s e t h e s t u ff you're telling him, then you've

      wo n t h e g a m e .      And then you realize when you get

      aw a y f r o m y o u r unit, you start absorbing back into

      ci v i l i a n l i f e t hat, hey, that's not normal.       That's

      no t , y o u k n o w , it wasn't until I was engaged and

      ac t u a l l y h a d s o meone move in with me to realize

      th i s i s n o t n o r mal; I shouldn't be buying plaster

      by t h e g a l l o n t o fix my walls.

                    A n d s o you don't realize that until you

      ha v e s o m e o n e t h ere, like you said, the family , to

      sa y , h e y , l o o k , man, this ain't the way you're

      su p p o s e d t o l i v e because when you're living by

      yo u r s e l f , w h o d o you have to please?       Yourself.

      Wh e n y o u ' r e l i v ing with your guys that are going

      th r o u g h t h e s a m e thing that you are, well, then

      no b o d y s e e m s a b normal.




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                       I l o v e the Post Traumatic Stress no

      di s o r d e r .    I l i ke that; I'm going to steal that if

      yo u d o n ' t m i n d .     But we talked about how you said

      th a t w e c a n n o w see Post Traumatic Stress.              That's

      am a z i n g .     T h a t goes back to what I was talking

      ab o u t f re a k i n g out the wizard.

                       S o n o w , what, now that we've determined we

      ca n s e e y o u g o t PTSD, what programs are working to

      fi x t h a t P o s t T raumatic Stress after we've

      di a g n o s e d y o u w ith it?

                       I k n o w I mentioned cognitive therapy

      ea r l i e r , b u t t h ere's a lot of t hings out there I

      ha v e n ' t h e a r d o f that maybe that you have that you

      co u l d s h a r e w i t h everybody here today, too?

                       D R . G A NS:   Well, actually we're talking

      ab o u t a w h o l e s pectrum of injuries when we talk

      ab o u t T r a u m a t i c Brain Injury and the Post Traumatic

      St r e s s D i s o r d e r , mild brain injury.         Probably the

      la r g e s t n u m b e r of people coming back from theater

      ar e h a v i n g t h e s e types of problems, but there are a

      sm a l l e r n u m b e r of people with absolutely

      de v a s t a t i n g c a t astrophic severe disorders of




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      co n s c i o u s n e s s .

                      P e o pl e come back and are in coma or in

      si m i l a r k i n d s o f conditions, and we are starting to

      le a r n t h r o u g h i nnovating and the treatment of those

      fo l k s n o t o n l y how to work with trying to help

      ar o u s e a n d w a k e up people who are in coma and

      ha v i n g s o m e p r e tty strik ing success and engagi ng in

      re s e a r c h i n t h e se areas, but also learning how many

      di f f e r e n t k i n d s of drugs used in unusual and

      di f f e r e n t w a y s and combinations, in combination

      wi t h c o g n i t i v e behavioral therapy, in combination

      wi t h e m o t i o n a l support and proble m solving and case

      co o r d i n a t i o n a n d a holistic approach, is probably

      go i n g t o l e a d t o dramatically better ways of

      de a l i n g w i t h v e ry, very difficult situations.

                      I m e a n people have their lives, they have

      ci r c u m s t a n c e s t hat they come into the military

      wi t h , w e c a n ' t change and fix everything.     But we

      ca n c e r t a i n l y l earn from the research that is going

      on a n d w i l l b e going on from the most extreme to

      ad d i n g n e w f o r m s of therapies to the ones that are

      pr o v i n g t h e m s e l ves to be helpful.




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                 A n d , i nterestingly, cogni tive behavior al

      th e r a p y i s o n e of the most effective new things

      th a t ' s c o m e a l o ng, and adding to that the judicious

      us e o f m e d i c a t i ons and having tools to monitor

      pr o g r e s s o b j e c t ively with some of these imaging

      te c h n i q u e s , a s well as the judgments and

      as s e s s m e n t s o f trained experts.

                 S o i f we have the research done, if we can

      tr a n s l a t e t h a t research into practice, if we have

      th e w o r k f o r c e - - it was mentioned earlier that w e

      ac t u a l l y h a v e a shortage of trained and qualified

      wo r k e r s i n t h i s area so we actually need to ta ke

      ad v a n t a g e o f d o ing this work and training more

      pe o p l e a t t h e s ame time -- and building into the

      pr o c e s s o f d e l i vering care and researching it, also

      bu i l d i n g i n t h e process of training additional

      pe o p l e t o b e c o m e capable of delivering that care.

                 S e e i n g it as a whole and putting all those

      re s o u r c e s t o g e t her, we can make much more dramatic

      di f f e r e n c e i n f olks' lives in the future.

                 C O L S U THERLAND:    But taking a look at it

      fr o m t h e i n d i v i dual basis, and that's the key, and




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      th a t ' s w h a t ' s i mpressive.      We're not just saying

      it ' s a p o l i c y s hift in D.C.         What we're saying is

      ea c h i n d i v i d u a l gets treated that way.

                     T h e r e ' s a group in New York City called

      Am e r i c a n C o r p o r ate Partners, and Post Traumatic

      St r e s s i s d i f f e rent forms.       The challenges we have

      ar e i n d i f f e r e n t forms.     American Corporate

      Pa r t n e r s p r o v i d es a mentor to every servicemember

      th a t i s g e t t i n g out and transitioning back into

      ci v i l i a n l i f e .   And the mentor is a CEO or an

      ex e c u t i v e .

                     C a n y o u imagine if you're a female warrior

      ge t t i n g o u t , a n d your mentor as you go into college

      is t h e p r e s i d e n t of Pepsico, a female Indian

      he l p i n g y o u a n d guiding you through that,

      co n n e c t i n g t h e president of UBS, Global Wealth, to

      he l p y o u a s y o u go into the business or out of the

      mi l i t a r y i n t o a business.       So yo u feel like you fit

      in .

                     W h a t w e find is that a large number of our

      se r v i c e m e m b e r s , Guardsmen, Reservists, Active,

      ge t t i n g o u t o r transitioning back to civilian life,




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      th e f a m i l i e s , t he families of the fallen, as they

      go t o a c o m m u n i ty, a new community, whe ther it 's

      th e b u s i n e s s w o rld or education, is they don't feel

      li k e t h e y f i t i n.

                      T h e U n iversity of Arizona has got a huge

      ve t e r a n s ' n e t w o rk where they all come together;

      th e y m e e t ; t h e y participate in a discussion.               We're

      ba c k w i t h f a m i l y.    I can talk to y ou all day l ong.

      I c a n t a l k t o y ou all day long.                I may not be able

      to t a l k t o s o m e body else in the room.               But when I

      co n n e c t w i t h t h em, I feel like I'm part of that

      te a m .     U n i v e r s i ty of Arizona.

                      C o l u m b ia University, 700 veterans in their

      or g a n i z a t i o n .   W ho'd a -thought Columbia University

      wo u l d h a v e a v e terans' organization?               But these are

      th e t h i n g s t h a t are standing up.

                      S o m e b usinesses actually have veterans'

      ne t w o r k s w h e r e every month they communicate, they

      do a s e m i n a r o n leadership, and this helps th ese

      in d i v i d u a l s f e e l like they fit in.           It's the

      tr a n s i t i o n .

                      S o i t ' s not just give them a job.           It's




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      un d e r s t a n d t h e unique needs of the individual and

      he l p t h e m t r a n s ition into this world.      Take the

      me n t o r s h i p o p p o rtunities.    Make it available.

                    T h e q u est ion is how do you link the

      wa r r i o r s , t h e f amilies, the families of the fallen,

      to a l l t h o s e r e sources, those 400,000?        And I have

      to c o m p l i m e n t b ecause there's an organization put

      to g e t h e r , W a r r i or Gateway, which is a portal that

      ta k e s t h e s e 4 0 0 ,000 differ ent networks and Web

      si t e s , a n d a k i d can put in a zip code and find out

      al l t h o s e r e s o u rces that are available.

                    A n d i t 's building, it's improving, it's

      ex p a n d i n g , a n d it's allowing for that because it

      al s o a d d r e s s e s the needs of civilians when they

      co m e b a c k , f a m i lies and families of the fallen, and

      I h a d o n e o f m y Gold Star wives get on it the other

      da y a n d w a s a b l e to take care of a problem, to

      co n n e c t t h e m , m edical, employment, education, give

      th e m o p t i o n s .

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     And that comes back to the

      mi l i t a r y a n d c i vilians working together.      I mean it

      re a l l y d o e s .     W hen you start talking about, one of




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      my b u d d i e s c a l l ed me and said, man, how do I go

      fr o m b e i n g t h i s highly decorated Marine to working

      at W a l - M a r t ?

                    A n d r e ally, it's, well, why isn't Wal -Mart

      us i n g s o m e o f h is assets?          Obviously, if you've

      be e n a n N C O i n any branch in the military, you're

      pr o b a b l y a m o t i vational speaker by that point

      be c a u s e y o u g o t to be motivational to get those

      gu y s t o g o t o c ombat with it.

                    S o b r i nging them into a Wal -Mart compa ny

      or s o m e t h i n g l i ke that and saying, hey, yeah, this

      is g o i n g t o b e your job as the checkout boy, but

      ev e r y T h u r s d a y , you're going to hold a motivational

      sp e a k i n g c l a s s kind of gives him back that esprit

      de c o r p s o r s o m ething, and that really has to

      tr i c k l e d o w n f r om our military and civilians

      wo r k i n g t o g e t h e r.

                    Y o u k n ow, I've always been one that said

      if e v e r y o n e f o u nd one organization that you

      be l i e v e d i n a n d you wholeheartedly supported it

      on c e a m o n t h , w e wouldn't need government funding.

      We c o u l d d o i t ourselves.




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                   N o w g e tting people to do that once a month

      is s o m e t h i n g t h at we've got to figure out a plan

      ho w a n d h o w d o we get that to work together, the

      wh o l e c i v i l i a n - military to come see eye - to- eye on

      th i s o n e t h i n g , shouldn't be that hard.     This is

      th e w e l f a r e o f the men and women who are willing to

      di e f o r y o u .

                   I d o n ' t think it should be too hard to get

      ci v i l i a n s a n d m ilitary to the table to figure out

      ho w w e m a k e t h e m assets after they go back into the

      ci v i l i a n w o r k f o rce, as well that's with th e help of

      PT S D .   L i k e y o u said, sir, I can't talk to my band.

      I c a n ' t s i t m y band down and say, man, Iraq was

      re a l l y r o u g h , l et's talk about it, or Afghanistan

      wa s a b a d t i m e , let's talk about it.

                   B u t i f we have elderly, whole

      ci v i l i z a t i o n s f or the elder ly, what would be so

      wr o n g w i t h u s h aving civilizations for the military

      wh e r e w e d o h a v e subdivisions that are set aside

      ju s t b u i l t f o r prior military, and it doesn't

      ma t t e r w h a t c o n flict you're from.    I can still go

      ne x t d o o r a n d s ay, hey, man, let's hav e a beer and




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      ta l k a b o u t i t .      You could have fought in Vietnam,

      yo u k n o w- -

                       C O L S U THERLAND:     It's an instant

      co n n e c t i o n .     I t 's peer -to -peer.

                       M R . C O CHRAN:    Exactly.          And you talked

      ab o u t t h e V i e t n am vets earlier because we're not

      ju s t h e r e t o t a lk about OIF /OEF.

                       C O L S U THERLAND:     Right.

                       M R . C O CHRAN:    We have veterans that we

      ha v e t o s e r v e .

                       C O L S U THERLAND:     Right.

                       M R . C O CHRAN:    We're dealing with a group

      of p e o p l e w h o h ave made homelessness a part of

      th e i r , i t ' s t h e ir lifestyle, you know, it's

      no m a d i c .     I t ' s almost like they're American nomads,

      is w h a t t h e y ' v e done, because trust -- all comes down

      to t r u s t .         I d o n't trust living in an apartment

      bu i l d i n g .       I d o n't trust walls.          I don't trust, you

      kn o w , t h a t i s s creaming the term that we just came

      up w i t h O I F a n d OEF, which is Post Traumatic.

                       C O L S U THERLAND:     Right.

                       M R . C O CHRAN:    And they're screaming for




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      he l p , b u t i t ' s a different kind of help, like you

      sa i d .       T h e y ' r e not beating walls or getting angry

      an d h a v i n g t r o u ble communicating.              They're having

      tr o u b l e s t a y i n g in enclosed areas.             They're

      no m a d i c .    H o w d o we combat that?

                       C O L S U THERLAND:     Yeah.         Bonnie looked at

      me a n d s a i d y o u 're nuts.          I was home for a few days

      an d s h e l o o k e d at me.        I said all the telephone

      po l e s a r e u p a s we're driving through the ma in

      st r e e t i n K i l l e en, Texas.        What a bizarre thing to

      sa y t o y o u r w i f e and two kids after being away, and

      sh e s a i d y o u ' r e nuts; I don't get it.

                       A n d , y ou know, and I looked at her and I

      sa i d i f I m a d e that same comment with the four guys

      th a t w e r e i n m y v ehicle with me, they'd all go,

      ye s , s i r , y o u ' r e right, and the street lights are

      wo r k i n g , t o o , a nd there are no dead bodies in the

      ca n a l s .

                       T h a t ' s how we measured success, and she'd

      go , y o u k n o w , s ay something to the boys, and I

      wo u l d n ' t g e t i t , and she wa s dealing with her own

      ch a l l e n g e s a s w ell.     And those networks, those




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      gr o u p s , w h a t w e 're seeing is consortiums of care

      st a n d u p i n d i f ferent communities.

                     I n N e w York City, we're seeing the New

      Yo r k C i t y S e a o f Goodwill that's bringing together

      al l t h e a g e n c i e s, all the departments, all the

      fa i t h - b a s e d o r g anizations, all the Chambers, the

      he a l t h c a r e p r o viders, the 58 different hospitals

      in t h e a r e a , a n d coming together and discussing all

      th e y c a n d o t o help reintegrate our warriors.        And

      it ' s h o s t e d b y Col umbia.

                     I n A u g usta, Georgia, there's the Central

      Sa v a n n a h R i v e r Area CARE program, and it's a

      50 1 ( c ) ( 3 ) t h a t orchestrates these community action

      te a m s t h a t b r i n gs it together, and they do.    They

      pa r t i c i p a t e i n these discussions that helps with

      th e t r a n s i t i o n .   You know anything about Augusta,

      Au g u s t a h a s g o t Fort Gordon so they also help the

      WT U , a n d c o n n e c t peer - to -peer.

                     W e ' r e seeing veterans courts stand up

      ar o u n d t h e c o u n try.     That's making a huge

      di f f e r e n c e . A n d what makes a difference is they're

      co n n e c t i n g m e n t ors, mostly from Vietnam, with kids




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      th a t a r e s e l f - m edicating with drugs or alcohol and

      ge t c a u g h t a n d go to misdemeanor court, and when

      th e y l e a v e , t h e y're enrolled in the VA and they

      ha v e a m e n t o r .

                     T h e r e cidivism rate is zero.          None of them

      co m e b a c k .        T h e y are all brought back and graduate

      fr o m a p r o g r a m .     They get counseling.         They help

      th e m , b u t i t ' s the community helping them.               It's

      no t s o l v e d h e r e in a place where, you know, we need

      to d e b a t e t h a t for a little while.             Give me a

      br e a k .    A l l r i g ht.    I don't need you debating it.

      I g o t a P h . D . i n soldiering.             All right.     That's

      wh a t w e u n d e r s t and what our needs are.             Help us in

      th e c o m m u n i t i e s fit in, and that makes a big

      di f f e r e n c e .

                     H i s i s sues, his challenges, Sue's issues,

      Su e ' s c h a l l e n g e s , the neighbors know what they are.

      Gi v e t h e m t h e r esources.          Enable them by connecting

      to t h o s e .         S e r g eant Beem up in Alaska, we had a

      gr e a t d i s c u s s i o n, but that's with things like, you

      kn o w , T r o o p s F i rst Foundation, these not -for -

      pr o f i t s , i f w e can gathe r, harness that power,




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      wh i c h w e ' r e s e e ing, for the families, for the

      wa r r i o r s , f o r t he kids, for the unique needs of our

      fe m a l e w a r r i o r s and our males, we're able to

      ha r n e s s t h a t s e a of goodwill.          I'm telling you

      go o d n e s s h a p p e n s.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      You know, in talking abo ut

      ju s t g e t t i n g t h e sea of goodwill, and even talking

      ab o u t m a k i n g s u re that the spouses have the therapy

      be c a u s e w e w e r e talking about PTSD being something

      th a t I ' m t o o h a rd to have or something, but what's

      th e o n e - - l e t m e tell you a story a bout this fi rst.

                     I j u s t went and played golf with General

      Co n w a y l a s t w e e k in a golf outing for the Semper Fi

      Fu n d , a n d s o w e 're up there, and a month earlier I

      ha d t a k e n o n e o f my buddies, who was an 8 -9 Marine,

      an d I t o o k h i m to the Commandant's house t o have

      di n n e r .   W e l l , this Marine had stood outside that

      ho u s e f o r f i v e - and - a-half years and never seen the

      in s i d e o f i t .     So when we go in the Commandant's

      ho u s e , h e s a i d , man, I just don't feel right.             I

      fe e l l i k e I ' m i n dad's bedroom, and I'm not

      su p p o s e d t o b e here.




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                  A n d s o at the golf outing I told General

      Co n w a y , I s a i d , sir, you know, my buddy has not

      sh u t u p a b o u t g etting to go into your house on that

      di n n e r , a n d I s aid, you know, he's --and Genera l

      Co n w a y ' s w i f e w as standing right there, and I said,

      yo u k n o w , h e t a lked about standing outside through

      ra i n , s l e e t a n d hail for five -and - a-half years and

      ne v e r g o t t o s e e inside it.

                  S h e s m acked him and said, Jim, I told you

      to b r i n g t h o s e boys in when it gets rough outside.

                  [ L a u g h ter.]

                  M R . C O CHRAN:       A nd I had a glimpse for a

      se c o n d , I s a w t he Commandant like, no, honey, I

      ca n ' t , t h e y ' r e Marines.    They've got to stand

      ou t s i d e , a n d s o what does that show?         It shows that

      yo u r w i f e , y o u r spouse, can make you do anything.

                  [ L a u g h ter.]

                  M R . C O CHRAN:       Go ahea d.

                  S S G B E EM:       All right.      Colonel Sutherland

      he r e h a s m e n t i o ned Operation Proper Exit and Troops

      Fi r s t F o u n d a t i o n for a little bit, and yes,

      sp e a k i n g o f w i v es making you do anything, my wife




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      re a d a b o u t O p e r ation Proper Exit.

                       F o r t h ose of you who don't k now what it

      is , R i c k K e l l h elped put together Troops First

      Fo u n d a t i o n t o g et a bunch of wounded soldiers back

      in t o t h e a t e r .     Give us some sort of closure from

      wh e r e w e- - I m e a n I got hurt.            I didn't want to go

      an y w h e r e n e a r I raq for the longest time.

                       B u t af t er a little while, I was like, you

      kn o w , I g o t p u l led out of there on a litter.             I

      wo u l d n ' t m i n d b eing able to walk away from there.

      I w o u l d n ' t m i n d being able to go back and seeing

      ho w t h i n g s l o o k nowadays.

                       S o m y wife is sitting there reading,

      re a d i n g a n a r t i cle about it, hears about it, a nd

      th e r e ' s a l i t t l e thing saying, you know, for

      an y b o d y w a n t i n g more detail contact this e - mai l

      ad d r e s s .     S h e w alks into my e -mail, writes a v ery

      br i e f l e t t e r t o Mr. Rick Kell and says something

      al o n g t h e l i n e s of my name is Sergeant Brian Beem,

      I a m a n a m p u t e e , I would like to go back to Iraq.

                       [ L a u g h ter.]

                       S S G B E EM:       Four months later I get an e -




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      ma i l s a y i n g , h e y, we got a trip coming up in like a

      mo n t h .    D o y o u want to go?        A trip where?    I go up

      to t h e w i f e , h e y, Li z, do you know anything ab out

      th i s T r o o p s F i r st Foundation, and she said, oh,

      ye a h , y o u ' r e g o ing to Iraq.       Thanks, dear.    Thanks.

                    [ L a u g h ter.]

                    S S G B E EM:       But it was a great trip.     It

      wa s f a n t a s t i c t o sit there and see the end result

      of w h a t w e ' v e d one.        N ot the end result, but,

      ag a i n , t h e p r o g ress that has been made in Baghdad,

      in B a l a d , a n d t his is a private organization that's

      ou t t h e r e f o r u s.

                    A n d t h e only way my wife happened to find

      ou t a b o u t i t w a s because of article that she read

      in t h e p a p e r .

                    C O L S U T HERLAND:       But it fills the gaps.

                    S S G B E EM:       Yep.

                    C O L S U THERLAND:        It like all these other

      th i n g s a n d t h e s e good intentions, these desires to

      he l p .     T h i s d i s cussion right here.       People are

      go i n g t o w a l k a way.        It fills the gaps, the gaps

      th a t e x i s t b e c a use we don't have cookie cutter




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      so l u t i o n s ; d o w e, Schlitz?

                      N o t e v erything gets solved by just, you

      kn o w , a p o l i c y .      It's recognizing the unique needs

      of e v e r y i n d i v i dual and helping to solve those.

                      T h e e n titlements for adaptive housing,

      $6 5 , 0 0 0 t o a d a p t your house when you're 100 pe rcent

      di s a b l e d .     $ 6 5 , 000.     I'm putting a screened -in

      po r c h o n m y h o u se that's costing half that.                     And

      so , y o u k n o w , B randon Morocco with --a quad amp utee -

      - p r o b a b l y i s g o ing to need a lot more than just a

      co u p l e o f r a m p s .

                      T h a t g ets filled until government can meet

      th e r e q u i r e m e n t or the obligation, and they do.

      Th a t ' s w h a t w e see with the Post -9/11 GI Bill.                       But

      it t o o k a w h i l e to get to that level.                   In the

      me a n t i m e , w e d o n't want kids falling through the

      cr a c k s .       W e d o n 't wa nt the opportunities misse d for

      th e s p o u s e , f o r the kids, and where they don't get

      so m e t h i n g t h a t should be provided because we care.

                      A n d t h at's, you know, the Council on

      Fo u n d a t i o n s d o e s a lot of stuff.               Different

      or g a n i z a t i o n s .   One organization I'll ju st mention -




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      - A m e r i c a n I n d i a n Education.   When they're doing

      th a t n o w , t h e y recognize that we have

      se r v i c e m e m b e r s whose children are American Indians.

      Do n ' t d i s c o u n t them in the process because their

      pa r e n t s a r e i n the military.        Include them.

      Un d e r s t a n d t h e y have unique needs as well.

                  T h e I r aq- Afghanistan Impact Fund, that

      ca m e t o g e t h e r a nd looks at these things and vets

      th e m a n d h e l p s , recognizes that.          And so you're

      se e i n g t h i s s e a of goodwill.

                  T h e k e y is where do you harness it?           Do

      yo u h a r n e s s i t in D.C.?      Or do you harness it down

      in t h e n e i g h b o r hood?   Or at the level where the

      fa m i l y i s o r t h e wife who goes in and gets on her

      hu s b a n d ' s e - m a i l-- you're a brave man -- and sends a

      no t e f o r h i m b e cause she recognizes that he's nuts?

                  M R . C O CHRAN:     And that 's it.       Getting the

      wi v e s t o r e c o g n ize that we're crazy.

                  [ L a u g h ter.]

                  M R . C O CHRAN:     I think even with this panel

      ri g h t h e r e , e v e n between the four of us, veterans

      th a t s e r v e d , w e show the diverse difference in what




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      PT S D c a n b e i n many faces, many differen t ones have

      it .     E v e n i f y o u're not medicating yourself with

      dr u g s o r a l c o h o l, we have a third one.          It's a

      wo r k a h o l i c .   T h ey just replace everything with work

      wh i c h i s e v e n h arder to see when you're just, oh,

      we l l , B o b i s j u st trying to get ahead, you kno w.

      No , h e ' s j u s t w orking so much, he's keeping his

      mi n d o f f o f i t .

                     A n d s i r, I think that by having panels

      li k e t h i s i s h o w we get those gaps filled because

      th e n h o p e f u l l y everybody here goes back to your

      co m m u n i t y , a n d you have a panel like this, and

      st a r t i n y o u r c ommunity with getting -- pep rally.

      No d i f f e r e n t t h an a pep rally basically.

                     Y o u ' r e getting your community together and

      yo u ' r e r a l l y i n g them to get behind their heroes.

      Ge t t i n g t h e m e x cited like hopefully all of us are

      go i n g t o l e a v e today exc ited about everything that

      we ' v e l e a r n e d h ere.     Go home.       Don't just go home

      an d g o t o w o r k .     Go home and gather other people to

      go t o w o r k w i t h you.         After you've seen everything

      up h e r e , g e n t l e men, if you have anything else to




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      to u c h o n , I w a n ted to turn it over to --

                   M R . D O WNES:    I want to say something.

                   M R . C O CHRAN:    Oh, go ahead.        I'm sorry.

      He ' s j u s t b e e n sitting over there.           I was saying

      th e d o g f e l l a s leep and everything.

                   M R . D O WNES:    I know, I mean half of what

      yo u g u y s t a l k e d about went over my head becaus e we

      li v e i n a l i t t l e community, as you guys call it.

      We d o n ' t g e t t h e newspapers, the articles and this

      an d t h a t t h a t t he bigger cities get or even some of

      th e l i t t l e r c i t ies get.

                   S o w e don't know what's out there, you

      kn o w .   I l i s t e n ed to hi m talk about this, this and

      th i s .   I ' m j u s t like, okay, what's that, what's

      th a t , w h a t ' s t h at, what's that?         You know how do I

      fi n d o u t ?   H o w do -- you know, the VA don't have that

      ki n d o f i n f o r m a tion, you know.

                   M y w i f e is on the Internet, well, I ain't

      g o i n g t o s a y 2 4 /7, but 12/7 maybe, and she don't

      ev e n f i n d t h a t stuff on the Internet.           So how do we

      ge t - -

                   C O L S U THERLAND:    That's the portal.




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      Th a t ' s t h e n e e d for this portal, this Warrior

      Ga t e w a y t h a t t h e Chairman talked about, that is

      be i n g s e t u p , w her e you can go on there, put in

      yo u r z i p c o d e , find out everything that's

      av a i l a b l e .

                     M R . D O WNES:    But what's available is like

      an h o u r , t w o h o urs away.

                     C O L S U THERLAND:    No, no, no.     There's

      th i n g s t h a t t h e y'll bring right to you, too.

      Th e r e ' s t h i n g s they' ll bring right to you.      Th at's

      th e k e y , i s t h a t if you got a unique need, there

      ar e o r g a n i z a t i o ns out there that want to come, and

      th e y ' r e g o i n g t o me, how do we find these guys?

      An d I ' m g o i n g - - and guys are saying how do I fi nd

      th e s e n e e d s ?

                     A n d i t 's exac tly it.      That's exactly what

      we ' r e t a l k i n g a bout.    It's connecting the donor to

      th e n e e d s .

                     M R . C O CHRAN:    And, you know, I don't want

      to b r i n g i t u p , but do you have a Facebook page?

                     M R . D O WNES:    Ah, well --

                     M R . C O CHRAN:    Does your wife have a




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      Fa c e b o o k p a g e ?

                     M R . D O WNES:     Yeah, she does.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      Okay.     She has a Facebook

      pa g e .

                     M R . D O WNES:     I have one.         I just never

      se e n i t .

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      I have found everyone I've

      se r v e d w i t h v i a Facebook.         So you know what, the

      go o d t h i n g i s , is that we leave, you leave the

      co u n c i l t o d a y , this panel, and we give you those

      to o l s t o t a k e b ack.       So that you find others, get

      th e m e x c i t e d i n these small towns.

                     T h a t ' s what we're talking about with the

      tr i c k l e d o w n t h eory, is we've got to leave here and

      go t o w o r k , p u t ting it to work in the communit ies,

      no t j u s t , y o u k now, let's be proactive.              We got to

      be p r o a c t i v e .     We don't wait for the vet to come to

      us .       G o t o t h e vet.     Because we have to be with

      th i s d i s e a s e .     We have to attack it.          As we

      at t a c k e d i n c o m bat, we h ave to attack this now .

                     A n d t h at means going out and finding

      "G a b e ' s " w h o a r e in these small towns that may not




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      ha v e t h e r e s o u r ces.     Let's get them to that.        Just

      li k e t h e G a t e w a y.     We've got to do that.        We've got

      to g o b e p r o a c t ive about it.

                    G e n t l e men, anything else?

                    M R . D O WNES:      Well, just like my wife, you

      kn o w , s h e ' s a d ouble amputee.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:       Right.

                    M R . D O WNES:      She tells me, at least three

      or f o u r t i m e s a week, you don't understand.              You

      do n ' t k n o w w h a t I've gone through.            You don't know.

      And she's right.              I know, you know, what I can do

      to h e l p h e r o r not or when to shut up and when to

      sa y s o m e t h i n g .   Most of the time I shut up, but --

                    [ L a u g h ter.]

                    M R . D O WNES:      -- but the only person tha t

      sh e c a n r e a l l y relate to is my father, that he did

      tw o t o u r s i n V i etnam, and he was injured.             So they

      ta l k o n t h e p h o ne quite a bit, you know, like she's

      ha v i n g a b a d d a y or something, but I didn't lose

      tw o o f m y b e s t friends in the accident so I can't

      sa y , o h , I k n o w what, I understand.

                    S o m e t hings I can u nderstand like the pain




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      ph y s i c a l l y , y o u know, but me and her are just like

      "c l a s h o f t h e t itans" a lot of times, you know,

      it ' s l i k e - -

                    M R . C O CHRAN:      Oh, I know.       I got a fiance.

      I had one.           I d on't know where she's at now.

                    M R . D O WNES:     You know, it's, sh e don't, I

      me a n s h e d o n ' t understand like when my back's

      hu r t i n g , a n d I can't understand a lot of times the

      me n t a l p a r t , y o u know, where --

                    M R . C O CHRAN:      Communication.

                    M R . D O WNES:     -- she sees a image or she has

      a d r e a m , y o u k n ow.

                    M R . C O CHRAN:      Right.

                    M R . D O WNES:     It's a tough situation for

      bo t h o f u s t o b e in.

                    C O L S U THERLAND:       It's bringing the power

      of t h e D o D , t h e power of the VA, and the power of

      th e c o m m u n i t i e s all together and binding it

      to g e t h e r t h r o u g h all these different organizations,

      th e s e e ff o r t s t hat are available to you and th at

      ex i s t o u t t h e r e .    The key is connecting them.

                    A n d y o u're exactly right.           And you're not




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      th e o n l y o n e s g oing through these challenges, and

      th e r e a r e p r o g r ams out there like Welcome Home,

      He r o e s t h a t a r e actually con necting warriors

      ma r r i e d t o o t h e r warriors who are wounded or ill or

      in j u r e d a n d d o i ng these sessions, and they exist,

      an d i t ' s c o n n e c ting them, and I'll help you connect

      to i t .

                   M R . D O WNES:       Well, like for her, you know,

      sh e ' s s t i l l , s h e just said two day s ago, I thi nk,

      sh e s t i l l f e e l s incomplete because she didn't get

      th e h o m e c o m i n g that --

                   C O L S U THERLAND:       Yeah.

                   M R . D O WNES:       -- that soldiers --

                   C O L S U THERLAND:       That's a great point, and

      it ' s s o m e t h i n g that DoD is now looking at.     Bob

      So h m [ p h ] i n D C OE, D efense Centers of Excellen ce.

      A t h i r d -l o c a t i o n decompression is so important .

                   W h a t h appens is we walk across the field.

      Ev e n t h a t d o e s n 't help because when you walk across

      th e f i e l d , a n d we talked about this last night, is

      th e m a r r i e d s o l diers or Marine s or sailors or

      ai r m e n w a l k o f f one direction.




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                       T h e i r best friends that they've spent 15

      or 1 2 m o n t h s w i th stay on the parade field chain

      sm o k i n g , a n d a l l of a sudden those individuals you

      ha d t h e m o s t m e aningful relationship with and

      di s c u s s i o n s w i t h, yo u now pass each other in t he

      ha l l w a y g o i n g h ow you doing?           Because you've gone

      di f f e r e n t p l a c e s.

                       T h e y f eel left out.        You feel left out.

      An d i t ' s t h a t g etting a chance to walk out that the

      un i q u e n e e d s a r e met.       There are programs out there

      th a t c a n h e l p , and we can help connect those.

                       [ A p p l a use.]

                       M R . C O CHRAN:     Gentlemen, I could do this

      al l d a y .       T h i s has been one of the greatest panels

      I' v e e v e r b e e n a part of.           You have so many

      an s w e r s .     Y o u h ave so many questions, and with

      qu e s t i o n s w e c a n all look to these people for more

      an s w e r s .

                       W h a t I would like to do now is get some

      qu e s t i o n s f r o m these people, and then we'll see if

      we c a n c o n t i n u e to answer them in the best way we

      ca n .




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                    Y e s , m a'am.

                    M S . S T ERN:     Oh, I'm ready.       Okay.   And

      ac t u a l l y i t ' s n ot, I don't have a question tho ugh I

      do w a n t t o t h a n k the entire panel.            It's more of

      co n t i n u i n g t o s hare ways to close the gaps.          You

      me n t i o n e d W a r r i or Gateway.      Warrior Gateway is like

      Ma t c h . c o m m e e t s TripAdvisor.

                    S o y o u find out where the resources are in

      yo u r l o c a l a r e a .   You can then go on and rate those

      se r v i c e s t o l e t other people know in that area how

      th o s e s e r v i c e s were and how you were impacted by

      th e m , p o s i t i v e l y or not.

                    N o w , W arrior Gateway though is still in

      ki n d o f t h e i n f ancy stages.          So I want ed to make

      su r e t h a t e v e r y one in this room knew about the

      Na t i o n a l R e s o u r ce Directory, which is just

      na t i o n a l r e s o u r c edirectory.gov.      Over 14,000 vetted

      re s o u r c e s i n t h e areas of employment, health,

      ho u s i n g , h o m e l e ssness, benefits and compensation,

      ed u c a t i on a n d t raining, family and caregiver

      su p p o r t , a n d t r ansportation and travel.

                    Y o u c a n put in your zip code and find out




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      ab o u t t h e r e s o u rces, again, that have been vetted

      in y o u r l o c a l a rea.      That's number one.

                     N u m b e r two, Dr. Gans, you talked about the

      th i n g s t h a t y o u 've talked about for the last three

      ti m e s y o u ' v e b e en here in terms of continuing care

      pa s t t h e m i l i t a ry.

                     T h e D e fense Center for Excellence of

      Ps y c h o l o g i c a l H ealth and Traumatic Brain Injury has

      a b r a n d n e w p r o gram out called In Transition, w hich

      is p r o v i d i n g c o aches to those servicemembers who

      ar e t r a n s i t i o n i ng back to their local communities

      an d c o n n e c t i n g them with community providers and

      al s o f o l l o w i n g them through to make sure that those

      co n n e c t i o n s a r e the right connections for them.         So

      ma y b e t h a t ' s b e cause of you.         So I'll thank you for

      th a t .

                     A n d l a st, but not least, this is one of

      th e f i r s t c o n f e rences I've been to in a very long

      ti m e w h e r e e m p l oyment was discussed.         I guess I

      sh o u l d h a v e s a i d who I am -- that would have been

      ni c e a l t h o u g h m aybe people will hunt me down

      af t e r w a r d s .   M y name is Lisa Stern, and I'm here




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      ac t u a l l y r e p r e s enting the Department of Labor.

                     I w o r k on a project called America's

      He r o e s a t W o r k .     And that project is 100 percent an

      an t i - s t i g m a p u b lic education campai gn geared t o

      em p l o y e r s t o h e lp employers better understand in

      th e i r l a n g u a g e the impact that Post Traumatic

      St r e s s D i s o r d e r and all psychological health

      in j u r i e s a n d T r aumatic Brain Injury has not only on

      re t u r n i n g s e r v i cemembers that are coming into the

      c i v i l i a n w o r k f o rce, but also trying to normalize it

      be c a u s e t h e s e a re not new injuries.             These are --and

      we ' v e t a l k e d a b out this this morning -- these are

      al r e a d y i n t h e workforce.

                     T h e r e are two portals within that Web site

      th a t I w o u l d w e lcome all of you to look at.               O ne is

      a p r e s e n t a t i o n that is actually as kind of

      co n n e c t e d a s y o u can be within the Internet without

      ha v i n g a v a t a r s .   It's called TBI, PTSD and

      Em p l o y m e n t .   A n d it is an eight module, about 45

      mi n u t e w o r k s h o p , basically, that you take yourself

      a n d i t g o e s t h r ough --it really describes what is

      Po s t T r a u m a t i c Stress Disorder?             What is Traumatic




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      Br a i n I n j u r y ?     How might it impact the workforce or

      th e w o r k p l a c e ?

                    A n d i t goes through scenario - based

      le a r n i n g t o h e l p you understand what you might be

      ab l e t o d o t o b e more successful in helping your

      em p l o y e e s a n d a lso helping someone else who you may

      kn o w .

                    T h e o t her one, which has not officially

      be e n l a u n c h e d t oday so, "shh", don't tell anybody,

      it w i l l b e c o m i ng out next week, we hope, but it is

      a v e t e r an s ' h i r ing toolkit.        We've had many

      em p l o y e r s t e l l us we want to hire veterans; we

      do n ' t k n o w w h e r e to find them, which I just roll my

      ey e s t o , b u t , o f course, not to the employers.

                    T h i s i s a toolkit that walks employers who

      tr u t h f u l l y w a n t to create a ve terans' hiring

      in i t i a t i v e , w a l ks them through step by step how to

      cr e a t e y o u r w o r k -- how to take your workforce and

      in f u s e s o m e m i l itary culture into the workforce so

      pe o p l e u n d e r s t a nd military culture.

                    I t t a l ks about where to find veterans, how

      to i n c o r p o r a t e reasonable accommodations if that's




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      ne c e s s a r y , w h o to call if you have questions,

      wr i t t e n a g a i n i n layman's language that just makes

      it v e r y e a s y f o r those that want to make a

      di f f e r e n c e t o m ake a difference.

                     S o I j ust wanted to close a few more gaps

      an d g i v e s o m e r esources out for people that might

      no t k n o w t h e y e xist.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      Where can they find out

      af t e r t h i s t o - -

                     M S . S T ERN:      I'm right here, and I've got a

      st a c k o f c a r d s .

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      There you go.      Everybody go

      to h e r .         W e ' r e going to ta ke some more questio ns,

      to o .       Thank you.      Thank you.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     M R . C O CHRAN:      I guess definitely she

      an s w e r e d a l o t of our questions that we had up here

      as f a r a s g a p s go.           There's some more assets.     Go

      ah e a d .

                     M S . S T OKES EGGLESTON:          Hi, Pamela Stokes

      E g g l e s t o n , D e v e lopment Director for Blue Star

      Fa m i l i e s .




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                     I w a n t to touch on a term I've heard,

      se c o n d a r y P T S o r PTSD, and since we have a couple

      of y o u g u y s t h a t are up there that are married, and

      th e d o c t o r , I w anted to know what are some of the

      im p l i c a ti o n s t h at you're seeing with some of t he

      mi l i t a r y s p o u s e s dealing with their wounded

      wa r r i o r s a n d d e ployed servicemembers returning?

                     I k n o w I had some issues, and I never

      th o u g h t t h a t , y ou know, they would fall into that

      ki n d o f c a t e g o r y, but in terms of just dealing with

      my h u s b a n d ' s P T S and the residual effects of that

      as i t a f f e c t e d my life as a working professional

      an d t h i n g s l i k e that, it's just interesting to me.

                     S o I w as wondering if you had any thoughts

      on t h a t ?

                     M R . C O CHRAN:   Does anybody want to take

      th a t a s f a r a s - -

                     C O L S U THERLAND:    Can you explain?

                     M R . C O CHRAN:   She's basically asking what

      sh e w e n t t h r o u g h, what we called secondary PTSD,

      wa s t a l k i n g a b o ut earlier, and with yourself being

      ma r r i e d , y o u r s e lf being married, I have a fiance,




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      we d e f i n i t e l y k now what the extent of that can be

      on s o m e o f t h e spouses is what she is talking

      ab o u t .    S h e w e n t through that.

                     W h a t a re some of the things now that are

      av a i l a b l e f o r t he spouses as far as that secondary

      PT S D t o l e t t h e m go ahead and get some th erapy

      al s o ?

                     C O L S U THERLAND:      Yeah, and it's care for

      th e c a r e g i v e r s .   My 16 -year -old son never expected

      he ' d b e t a k i n g care of me.          His comment was when is

      da d g o i n g t o s m ile again?         At the time he was 13.

      So i t ' s n o t j u s t the spouses.

                     B o n n i e went to al l the funerals.      She went

      to a l l t h e m e m o rial services that she was allowed

      to g o t o .       S o t here are challenges for them, and

      th e r e a r e p r o g r ams that exist.

                     N o w , i f we look at wounded, ill and

      in j u r e d , a l l r i ght, and now the care for the

      ca r e g i v e r l e g i s lat ion that's come out, that's a

      st a r t .    B u t t h e re are also other organizations like

      we ' r e s e e i n g i n Ohio for the National Guard and

      Re s e r v e s a n d t h eir family programs.         We're seeing




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      th e e f f o r t s b y the Yellow Ribbon programs and the

      Ye l l o w R i b b o n F und in assi sting as well.

                   A n d t h ere's all these organizations that

      ex i s t t h a t d o n ' t fall onto those dot - gov or dot -mil

      We b s i t e s b e c a u se where are the spouses in that

      wo u n d e d , i l l a n d injured, and where is the children

      in t h e s a m e t h i ng?       There are sites out there t hat

      as s i s t a n d p r o v ide.     Military One Source is

      ac t u a l l y a g o o d site.       It doesn't solve all

      pr o b l e m s , b u t i f you connect that with all the

      ot h e r o r g a n i z a t ions, you're able to get a great

      de a l o f e n e r g y and synergy going.

                   B u t , a gain, what's available in th at

      co m m u n i t y a s w e ll, faith -based, that we can to uch

      in t o a n d , a g a i n , we can help.          It just depends on

      wh e r e y o u ' r e a t and what's available because you

      do n ' t w a n t t o t ravel to D.C. to get it solved

      un l e s s y o u l i v e in D.C., of course.

                   M R . C O CHRAN:        Oh, no, he's from Baltimore.

      Yo u c a n t e l l C h arles is from Baltimore.

                   [ L a u g h ter.]

                   M R . C O CHRAN:        We only got time for one




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      mo r e q u e s t i o n .   I wish we could do this all day.      I

      lo v e D . C .     I a l ways said that I've been here, I

      sh o u l d g e t i n t o politics as much as I sta y in D.C.

      no w , b u t i f w e ' re here and we're making a

      di f f e r e n c e , I ' l l be here as much as possible.

                    G o a h e ad.

                    M R . P A RKER:    My name is Michael Parker.

      I' m a r e t i r e d l ieutenant colonel from the Army who

      he l p s w o u n d e d w arriors navigate through the

      Di s a b i l i t y E v a l uation System.

                    I w a s wondering if I could ask yourself

      an d M r . D o w n e s a couple of quick questions just as

      a b a r o m e t e r o f how the system is working.

                    W e r e e ither of you retired from the

      mi l i t a r y f o r y o ur disabilities?

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     I was.

                    M R . P A RKER :   You were medically retire d?

                    M R . C O CHRAN:     Yes.

                    M R . P A RKER:    How about you, Mr. Downes?

                    M R . D O WNES:    I'm sorry?

                    M R . P A RKER:    Were you medically retired or

      se p a r a t e d f r o m the service?




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                     M R . D O WNES:     I was medically separated.

                     M R . P A RKER:     Okay.      Have you heard of the

      Ph y s i c a l D i s a b i lity Board of Review?

                     M R . D O WNES:     Negative.

                     M R . P A RKER:     Physical Disability Board of

      Re v i e w w a s s e t up after the Walter Reed scandal so

      pe o p l e l i k e y o u who are separated vice retired

      co u l d h a v e t h e i r case reviewed to mak e sure that it

      wa s d o n e c o r r e c tly.

                     T h e f a ct that you don't know about it, I

      th i n k , i s a b i g problem.           I'd ask Colonel

      Su t h e r l a n d w h e n he gets back to the Pentagon to

      ki n d l y p u t a b o ot in the ass of DoD and ask why

      th e y ' r e n o t s e n ding him a letter saying h e's

      el i g i b l e t o h a v e his disability evaluation

      re v i e w e d ?

                     T h e r e ' s tens of thousands of people like

      th e m , a n d D o D i s sitting back on their hands saying

      we ' l l l e t t h e V SOs notify them.                So whatever you

      ca n d o o n t h a t front as an advocate there for the

      Ch a i r m a n , p l e a s e do so.

                     T h a n k you.




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                     C O L S U THERLAND:      Absolutely.   And you have

      Jo h n C a m p b e l l h ere --

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     C O L S U THERLAND:      You have John Campbell

      he r e f r o m W o u n d ed Warrior Care and Transition

      Po l i c y w h o h a s oversight on the Disability

      Ev a l u a t i o n S y s t e m or is a member of the Board, the

      OI P T , a n d i t ' s a great question, and one I'll

      de f i n i t e l y t a k e back because it's frustrating when

      yo u d o n ' t k n o w what's available to you, or you're

      no t e v a l u a t e d p roperly.

                     W e g e t these constant discussions from the

      wa r r i o r s , a n d n ot just the ones that are not

      as s e s s e d a s w o u nded, ill or injured, that, because

      af t e r f o u r m o n t hs, DoD stops tracking them.       That's

      th e l a w .     S o t h at's the reason that the Warrior

      Tr a n s i t i o n , A W 2 , Wounded Warrior Regiment, Safe

      Ha r b o r , t h e y f i ll that gap, but it's a great, great

      re q u i r e m e n t f o r all those others that have fallen

      th r o u g h , a n d I will definitely take it back.

                     Thanks.

                     M R . C O CHRAN:     Ladies and gentlemen, that's




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      go i n g t o c o n c l u de our "New Normal" panel.               I'd like

      to g i v e a l l o u r paneli sts a round of applause.

                       [ A p p l a use.]

                       M R . C O CHRAN:      Gentlemen, thank you so much

      fo r y o u r s e r v i c e, your continued service to our

      co u n t r y .       T h a n k you for letting me be your

      mo d e r a t o r .     G o d bless you all, "OohRah," Semper Fi,

      an d l e t ' s k e e p helping our vets .                Thank you, s ir.

                       V A D M R YAN:      Okay.    Terrific job, Stephen

      an d p a n e l i s t s .       We're going to take a quick ten -

      mi n u t e b r e a k , a nd then Secretary Duckworth will be

      in t o w r a p t h i n gs up.

                       T h a n k you, all.

                       [ W h e r e upon, a short break was taken.]

                       M A J O R GENERAL WI LKERSON:           Sit down,

      pl e a s e .     T h a t ' s great.      Thank you.        I can tell

      yo u ' r e m o v i n g .

                       T h o s e of you who are in the far back of

      th e h o u s e , a s p eople have had to move on, please

      fe e l f r e e t o c o me forward to listen to our closing

      ke y n o t e s p e a k e r .     We're getting c loser, I can tell.

                       T h a n k you, everyone, for taking your




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      se a t s .     I t ' s a p propriate this afternoon that we

      ha v e t h e o p p o r t unity to have Tammy Duckworth as our

      cl o s i n g s p e a k e r .     She has been on all sides of the

      ne w n o r m , a s a combat veteran, soldier and

      he l i c o p t e r p i l o t, as very focused and engaged in

      he r h o m e s t a t e of Illinois in veterans affairs, and

      no w h e r e a s t h e Assistant Secretary.

                      S h e h a s seen it, has worked it, both sides

      of t h e s t r e e t .         She has lived it, and so it's

      ap p r o p r i a t e t h a t we get a chance to hear her

      me s s a g e i n c l o s ing about the new norm, and then

      sh e ' l l b e a b l e to help with questions and answers

      as w e g o f o r w a r d.

                      P l e a s e join me in welcoming Secretary

      Ta m m y D u c k w o r t h .

                      [ A p p l a use.]

                      S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:         Thank you.   Thank

      yo u .       G o o d a f t e rn oon, everyone, on a beautiful

      Fr i d a y a f t e r n o o n.     This close to playing hooky, but

      I stayed.

                      I t ' s r eally an honor to be here with you

      on b e h a l f o f S e cretary Shinseki and the entire VA




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      le a d e r s h i p t e a m .   Vice Admiral Ryan and Major

      Ge n e r a l W i l k e r s on, thank y ou for hosting this very

      im p o r t a n t f o r u m and inviting me to speak again this

      ye a r .

                     I ' m h e re to really applaud you for your

      co n t i n u e d d e d i c ation to keeping America strong and

      th i s o r g a n i z a t i on's commitment to ensuring that

      yo u r f e l l o w t r o ops receive the be nefits that they

      fo u g h t f o r a n d deserved.

                     T h i s f orum has addressed extremely

      im p o r t a n t i s s u e s that many of our military members

      an d t h e i r f a m i l ies face today: the treatment and

      ca r e o f o u r p h y sically and psychologically - wou nded

      tr o o p s ; t h e s t r uggle our in jured servicemembers

      en c o u n t e r w h e n they return home; and the struggles

      th a t f a m i l y m e m bers of the wounded experience.

                     Y o u k n ow when it comes to war, there are

      ma n y c o s t s .    S o me are obvious like the financial

      as p e c t , w h i l e o thers are far less apparent: th e

      st r a i n t h a t i t puts on a family; the time at home

      wi t h a l o v e d o n e that you will never get back; and

      th e e f f e c t s o f war that will remain long after our




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      br a v e m e n a n d w omen return home to their families

      an d f r i e n d s .

                    T h e s e are the costs that we can't

      ca l c u l a t e , a n d we will see the costs of war

      in c r e a s e e x p o n e ntially unless our servicemembers

      re t u r n i n g f r o m combat are able to make that

      di f f i c u l t t r a n s ition from combat life to civilian

      li f e .

                    W i t h a dvances in medical technology and

      tr e a t m e n t , m o r e and more o f our veterans are

      su r v i v i n g d e b i l itating and devastating injuries

      re c e i v e d d u r i n g combat.   And these injuries can

      ra n g e f r o m v i s u al impairments, amputations, spinal

      co r d i n j u r i e s , to the invisible wounds of Traumatic

      Br a i n I n j u r y a n d psychological trauma.

                    W e a s a nation owe it to these warriors to

      ma k e s u r e t h a t they have the opportunity to live

      th e i r l i v e s a s they wish.      Our President has said

      ma n y t i m e s t h a t our obligation to our troops don't

      en d o n t h e b a t t lefield.      We have a responsibility

      to t a k e c a r e o f them when they come home, and as

      he ' s o f t e n s a i d , we as a nation have a covenant to




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      ke e p w i t h o u r v eterans.

                     I k n o w just have difficult it can be to

      ad a p t t o a n e w lifestyle after a debilitating

      in j u r y .   S i m p l e things like buttoning your shirt or

      wa l k i n g t o t h e mailbox become huge obstacles that

      yo u h a v e t o o v e rcome, and that recovery to a new

      no r m a l c a n l a s t an entire lifetime.

                     O n e o f the most important messages that I

      le a r n e d d u r i n g my own recovery was exactly that,

      th a t l i f e w a s g oing to be normal again.            I wasn't

      su r e w h a t t h a t meant.         And I was pretty annoyed by

      it a c t u a l l y .       A ll those people coming in who looked

      pe r f e c t l y f i n e telling me my life was going to be

      no r m a l , a n d I t hought, you're crazy.            Either that

      or I ' m o n a l o t of medication, both of which w ere

      pr o b a b l y t r u e .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:        But I finally

      un d e r s t o o d w h a t they meant when I met a colonel who

      fl e w A i r F o r c e 2, who lost his leg and managed to

      fi g h t h i s w a y b ack to flight status and continued

      to f l y a f t e r w a r ds.       Some of you know him.     He and




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      hi s w i f e a r e C o lonel and Lisa Lourake and are great

      pe e r v i s i t o r s o ut at Walter Reed, and he took a

      pe r s o n a l i n t e r e st in me, and he would come by my

      ho s p i t a l r o o m s everal times a week and we would

      ta l k , a n d , y o u know, he know what I wanted mor e

      th a n a n y t h i n g , which was to get back in the cockpit

      of t h e a i r c r a f t and get back to my unit.

                    A n d h e kept trying to get me to relax,

      li k e w e t r y t o get all of the wounded warriors to

      re l a x , a n d j u s t take it one day at a time and try

      to g e t b e t t e r .   And he kept saying you're going,

      it ' s g o i n g t o b e normal, life is going to be

      no r m a l , a n d I c ouldn't understand what he meant.

                    B u t , y ou know, I've come to realize that

      he ' s r i g h t .   M y life today is not exactly the same

      as i t w a s b e f o r e I was injure d.           I struggle

      ev e r y d a y w i t h m y disability, but life is also

      re a l l y , r e a l l y good, and I knew that my life was

      no r m a l w h e n I s tarted arguing with my husband

      ag a i n , a n d t h o s e arguments were not about whether

      or n o t I h a d l e gs, but whose turn it was to take

      o u t t h e g a r b a g e or whose turn it is to make dinner?




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                   I d o n ' t think you get any more normal than

      th a t .   B y t h e w ay, "I'm a wounded war hero" excuse

      do e s n ' t w o r k w i th him anymore either.

                   [ L a u g h ter.]

                   S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       When it's my turn,

      it ' s m y t u r n .   It's like you didn't learn to w alk

      to n o t t a k e o u t the garbage.          But, you know, and so

      th a t ' s m y m e s s a ge as I go, and that's my message as

      I c o m e t o f o r u m s like this, which is our warriors

      ar e s t i l l c o n t r ibuting, our wounded warriors

      es p e c i a l l y a r e still c ontributing, and they just

      ne e d h e l p f i n d i ng a new way to be part of

      or g a n i z a t i o n s , to be able to continue to serve, to

      be a b l e t o c o n t inue to live full lives, and I have

      th a t g r e a t h o n o r to serve at VA under Secretary

      Sh i n s e k i t o h e l p take care of these w arriors.

                   W e a t VA are privileged, privileged to

      ha v e t h e m i s s i o n of demonstrating the thanks of a

      gr a t e f u l n a t i o n , and we well - fulfil those

      ob l i g a t i o n s q u i ckly, fully and fairly.     We are

      de t e r m i n e d t o c omplete our mission.

                   T h e P r esident has made it ver y clear t hat




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      th i s i s a p r i o r ity.     Last year, we had the largest

      in c r e a s e i n o u r budget in over 30 years, and our

      20 1 1 b u d g e t a l s o has a large increase in it.    We're

      on e o f t h e f e w agencies that have been selected for

      th a t .   A n d w e a re grateful because the need is

      in d e e d g r e a t .

                    I w a n t to give you some of the statistics

      of w h a t w e a r e dealing with at VA and for you to

      th i n k a b o u t t h i s when you go back to your

      or g a n i z a t i o n s a nd think about what we can do for

      al l o f o u r t r o o ps that are coming home, whether or

      no t t h e y h a v e b ecome veterans.

                    A t t h i s point in time, 45 percent of all

      wo m e n w h o h a v e served in Iraq and Afghanistan have

      co m e t o V A f o r health care.           45 percent.

                    S o m e o f the greatest numbers of services

      th a t a r e n e e d e d across VA are through our Iraq and

      Af g h a n i s t a n h e a lth care systems, but really our

      fa s t e s t g r o w i n g population are Vietnam veterans,

      an d t h o s e V i e t n am veterans are coming back to VA

      fo r c a r e- - a l a r ge group of them -- for Post Traumatic

      St r e s s 4 0 y e a r s after the fact.




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                     W e a r e also dealing with increases in

      ho m e l e s s n e s s a m ong veterans, especially among the

      yo u n g e r g e n e r a t ion.     25 - year - olds and under ar e at

      ab o u t a 1 7 p e r c ent unemployment rate, and if they

      ca n n o t f i n d a j ob, they cannot pay rent, they

      ca n n o t p a y f o r their mortgages if they ha ve

      mo r t g a g e s i f t h ey're able to actually afford a

      ho m e .

                     S o w e ' re looking at the beginning of what

      co u l d b e a p o t e ntial downward spiral.                If we don't

      st o p t h a t s p i r a l, that will eventually end in

      ho m e l e s s n e s s , e specially with this younger

      ge n e r a t i o n t h a t 's coming home now.            So VA has

      de d i c a t e d i n t h e first year $4 billion, and we will

      co n t i n u e t o p u r sue the mission to end homelessness

      am o n g v e t e r a n s .

                     W h e n w e started, we were at 139,000

      ho m e l e s s v e t e r a ns on any night of the week, 18

      mo n t h s a g o .    W e are now at 107,000 homeless

      ve t e r a n s o n o u r nation's streets.               And we look to

      ki c k t h a t n u m b e r down by 40 to 50,000 every single

      ye a r s o t h a t w e get to zero.




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                     B u t w h en we get to zero, it's not about

      ma k i n g s u r e t h a t every homeless veteran that's on

      th e s t r e e t a c t u ally has a bed to sleep in.     It 's

      mo r e a b o u t p r e v enting that downward spiral.        It is

      al s o a b o u t b u i l ding up capacity.

                     A t t h i s point, if every veteran came to us

      an d a s k e d f o r h elp with housing, employment, with

      he l p f r o m s u b s t ance abuse, with help to ke ep them

      fr o m b e c o m i n g h omeless, we could not as a nation

      ta k e c a r e o f t h em on our own as a federal agency.

      We n e e d c i v i l i a n partners.

                     A n d t h at's why we've installed many new

      pr o g r a m s , i n c l u ding the help line.   We have a

      ho m e l e s s n e s s h e lp line that any of our civilia n

      co m m u n i t i e s , a n y veteran can call.   I'm in danger

      of n o t h a v i n g a place to sleep; I'm going to lose

      my h o m e .    I c a n 't find, I can't afford the rent, or

      I d o n ' t h a v e a place to sleep tonight, and we will

      ge t t h e m t o a r eferral to a shelter to a vouch er

      pr o g r a m s o m e w h e re where we can get them off the

      st r e e t s a n d b a c k into a system where we can provide

      ca r e f o r t h e m .




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                  W e ' r e also improving veterans to -- acce ss

      to v e t e r a n s w h o live in rural areas because no

      ma t t e r w h e r e a veteran lives, he or she sh ould have

      ea s y a c c e s s t o the VA.     We are standing up in my

      of f i c e t h e O f f i ce for Tribal Governments for the

      fi r s t t i m e i n V A's history.

                  O u r v e terans on tribal lands and on the

      Pa c i f i c I s l a n d s have the largest per capita

      po p u l a t i o n o f v eterans of any popul ation, yet they

      ar e t h e m o s t r e mote and the least served among our

      se r v i c e m e m b e r s and veterans.

                  P T S D a nd TBI continue to be tremendous

      ch a l l e n g e s f o r us at VA, and we're still learning

      ab o u t t h e s e i n j uries.   What we must and will do is

      co n t i n u e t o c o n duct research on these disorder s,

      im p r o v i n g s c r e e ning and treating of our troops.

                  I n f a c t, with our screening program, in

      th e f i r s t f i v e years after a servicemember returns

      fr o m a c o m b a t t our, he or she can come to VA for a

      ju s t r o u t i n e h e alth care, and we ha ve now made it

      ma n d a t o r y t h a t 100 percent of our Iraq and

      Af g h a n i s t a n v e t erans or Active servicemembers who




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      co m e t h r o u g h t h e doors in those first five years of

      a V A f a c i l i t y w ill be screened for Post Traumatic

      St r e s s a n d b r a i n injury.

                  S o e v e n if they come to us for a sprai ned

      an k l e , t h e y ' r e going to get a screening as part of

      a r o u t i n e i n -p r ocessing system within to VA as

      we l l .   A n d w e f ind that this is very useful because

      ev e n t h o u g h s o many of our warriors may not want to

      co m e f o r s c r e e n ing due to the st igma of Post

      Tr a u m a t i c S t r e s s or Traumatic Brain Injury, you can

      ta l k t h e m i n t o coming in to be screened for a blown

      kn e e o r a b a d b ack that they got from an air

      as s a u l t m i s s i o n or something along those lines.

                  A n d s o if we can get them through our

      do o r s f o r o n e o f those conditions, we will screen

      th e m , a n d t h e y are getting the screening that they

      ne e d .

                  F o r T B I, we've also fielded a new

      Di s a b i l i t y R a t i ng System, and that will greatly

      im p r o v e h o w c l a ims are evaluated and awarded.       And

      st i l l t h e s e a m l ess tra nsition of care for our

      wo u n d e d w a r r i o r s and our OEF/OIF vets needs to be




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      be t t e r .

                     T h e P r esident last year launched the VLER,

      Vi r t u a l L i f e t i m e Electronic Records, program, which

      is s o m e t h i n g t h at VA and DoD is collaborating on,

      an d t h i s i s a s ystem that w ill in a computerized

      wa y l i n k a v e t e ran and track his or her record from

      th e d a y t h a t t h ey raised their hand and took the

      oa t h o f o f f i c e to the day that they are laid to

      re s t i n o n e o f our national shrines.

                     L e t m e give you an example.      I mean it

      so u n d s ve r y i n t uitive, but let me give you an

      ex a m p l e o f h o w this would have saved us tremendous

      am o u n t s o f t i m e and allowed us to provide access to

      a g e n e r a t i o n o f veterans such as the Vietnam

      ge n e r a t i o n .

                     W e h a v e these veterans who 20 years ago

      fi l e d f o r d i s a b il ity for Agent Orange exposure, and

      20 y e a r s a g o , m uch of the science had not caught up

      th a t w o u l d l i n k Agent Orange exposure to

      Pa r k i n s o n ' s d i s ease, or diabetes, or ischemic heart

      di s e a s e o r l e u k emia.

                     T h e y w ere told no.     The science does not




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      sh o w t h a t y o u ' r e getting these injuries from y our

      se r v i c e a n d f r o m Agent Orange.           20 years later,

      la s t y e a r , S e c r etary Shinseki just signed into a

      ne w s y s t e m t h a t we now have several new presumptive

      co n d i t i o n s f o r Agent Orange exposure.           That means

      th a t i f y o u w e r e in Vietnam in country and you at a

      la t e r p o i n t i n your life develop Parkinson's, heart

      di s e a s e , l e u k e m ia, some of these other conditions,

      we w i l l p r e s u m e that those conditions are from your

      mi l i t a r y s e r v i c e.

                    T h e i s sue now, of course, is going back

      an d f i n d i n g a l l those veterans who applied 20 years

      ag o o r 3 0 y e a r s ago and tracking them down.              Or

      he l p i n g t h o s e v eterans who now need to apply for

      th e s e b e n e f i t s find the records that showed that

      th e y w e r e e x p o s ed to Agent Orange or that they were

      in c o u n t r y a t t h ose times.          And it's very diff icult

      fo r m a n y v e t e r a ns who have lost their records.

                    I f w e had the Virtual Lifetime Electronic

      Me d i c a l R e c o r d s , we could actually look this up,

      an d w h a t t h i s m eans for today's veterans is that

      wh e n t h e y c o m e to us from DoD, t hey won't have the




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      sa m e e x p e r i e n c e that I did.

                   W h e n I left Walter Reed with my full

      pa c k e t o f m e d i c al records in my little wheelie

      ca r t , w i t h , y o u know, I insisted on getting paper

      co p i e s o f e v e r y thing in addition to my CD -ROMs, and

      I went to VA.              I had t o wait three months to get an

      ap p o i n t m e n t t o have a physical.             When I got to VA,

      th e y s a i d t h a t I needed to go see a physician's

      as s i s t a n t s o t h at I could have a physical to prove

      th a t I w a s a n a mputee.

                   [ L a u g h ter.]

                   S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:         The medical recor ds

      th a t t h e y h a d f rom DoD were not acceptable, and

      th i s i s t h e t y p e of stupid legislation and

      re g u l a t i o n s a n d policies that exist, and I was the

      fi r s t o n e w h e n - -you know, this was --I, you kno w, I

      wa s a c r i t i c o f the VA, and this is why I have my

      jo b , i s s o I c a n get up and say, look, this does

      no t m a k e s e n s e .

                   A n d y o u know what?          When I was in that

      ex a m r o o m , a n d I was with that physician's

      as s i s t a n t , h e d idn't want to be spending his time




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      ch e c k i n g t o m a k e sure that I hadn't magically grown

      ba c k l e g s .   H e wanted to be out treating other

      ve t e r a n s w h o r e ally needed him to take care of

      th e m .

                   I t w a s a waste of his time.           It was a

      wa s t e o f m y t i m e.   It was humiliating for me, and

      it w a s j u s t a n o ther step in the process.           And this

      is w h y t h a t D o D -VA collaboratio n is so importa nt.

      Th i s i s w h y V L E R is so important.           This is why a

      si n g l e d i s a b i l i ty rating system is so important.

      So t h a t o u r v e t s should not have to go through

      th a t .

                   N o w , I don't have a brain injury so I

      co u l d n e g o t i a t e that system, but imagine a yo ung

      ma n o r w o m a n w h o does have a brain injury, and he

      or s h e i s t r y i n g to go through the system or their

      sp o u s e i s t r y i n g to them through, and they don't

      kn o w a n y t h i n g a bout bureaucracy.         If they had to do

      th i s , y o u k n o w , many of them simply give up and

      wa l k a w a y .

                   T h a t ' s why we need to continue to push

      fo r w a r d , b o t h D oD and VA, to make sure that systems




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      li k e V L E R , s y s t ems like a single disability

      ev a l u a t i o n s y s t em, that those partnerships continue

      to w o r k , a n d t h at we get rid of policies and

      re g u l a t i o n s t h a t just simply don't make sense, that

      ar e s e t u p b e c a use we have two different systems,

      an d w e h a v e n o t come together.

                    I d o n ' t ever want another veteran to have

      to g o i n t o a h o spital room at a VA facility to take

      of f t h e i r a r t i f icial legs to prove that th ey're

      st i l l a n a m p u t e e.   That's not going to happen ever

      ag a i n .

                    I n M a y , the President did something that

      we a r e v e r y e x c ited about as well, which is that he

      si g n e d t h e C a r e givers Veterans Omnibus Health

      Se r v i c e s A c t .   Great big long word.        It basically

      is a c a r e g i v e r s legislation, and that legislation

      al l o w s V A t o p r ovide unprecedented benefits to

      ca r e g i v e r s w h o support the veterans who have

      sa c r i f i c e d f o r this nation.

                    S o m a n y of our family members end up

      gi v i n g u p t h e i r jobs so they can come home and tak e

      ca r e o f u s , s o they can come to our hospital beds.




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      We w i l l n o w b e able to give them access to health

      ca r e , p a y m e n t f or lodging and travel with the

      wo u n d e d v e t , e d ucation and training on how to be a

      ca r e g i v e r , a n d counseling services.          Long overdue.

                    W e at V A know that we can never repay the

      me n a n d w o m e n w ho stood forward, put on the

      un i f o r m , a n d d e fended our freedom, and they would

      be t h e f i r s t t o tell us that they don't expect to

      be r e p a i d .     W h a t they need and deserve is to be

      ho n o r e d f o r t h e ir dedicati on and sacrifice and

      th a t ' s w h e r e y o u come in.

                    M i l i t a ry Officers Association of America

      an d t h e U n i t e d States Naval Institute know this

      be t t e r t h a n a n y one.     And, in fact, I don't know if

      yo u g u y s k n o w t his, but I was employed by the Naval

      In s t i t u t e a b o u t 20 years ago, my first job out of

      co l l e g e , a n d I know that you -- I did -- and I know

      th a t y o u ' v e b e e n hard at work to protect our

      ve t e r a n s a n d d e fending the rights and the

      pr i v i l e g e s o f o ur military men and women for many,

      ma n y y e a r s .

                    I w a n t to thank you all for your conti nued




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      wo r k f o r o u r s e rvicemembers, and I urge you to

      co n t i n u e t o b e advocates for our military heroes in

      th i s c o u n t r y b e cause right now, it's easy to be an

      ad v o c a t e f o r a military hero.     I think everyday of

      my d o o r g u n n e r , and bear with me as I tell you this

      st o r y .   M y d o o r gunner, a young man by the name of

      Ku r t , w a s - - w e l l , he got the million dollar wound

      wh e n w e w e r e s h ot down.   He was shot in the butt.

      He d i d n ' t l e a r n like the other older crew chiefs to

      si t o n h i s c h i c ken plate so he got s hot.

                   A r o u n d came through.     He's got an AK -47

      ro u n d i n h i s t a ilbone, and they did not take it out

      be c a u s e i t w o u l d be more dangerous to try to dig

      th a t t h i n g o u t than to just leave it in.

                   B u t o n that day, bleeding, scared out of

      hi s m i n d , h e d i d what he needed to do.      He def ended

      ou r p e r i m e t e r a nd he bought us the time that we

      ne e d e d s o t h a t I could get rescued, so that the

      re s t o f t h e c r e w could be saved and be moved.         He

      wa s n ' t g o i n g t o quit his post.     He was going to

      st a y t h e r e a n d make sure that he d id his job.

                   K u r t t oday just graduated from flight




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      sc h o o l h i m s e l f , and God help us, is now an Army

      he l i c o p t e r p i l o t in his own right.

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       He graduated from

      co l l e g e d u r i n g which time he, you know, was quite

      po p u l a r o n b a r nig ht, Thursday nights, because he

      co u l d t e l l t h e girls, why, yes, I'm a Purple Heart

      re c i p i e n t ; w o u l d you like to see my scar?

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       He's a great young

      ma n .    H e ' s n o t a young man.         He's 35, but I think

      of h i m a s a k i d because he joined the unit at 17,

      an d I r e m e m b e r the first job I gave him was to

      st e n c i l m y n a m e on my footlocker, and I made sure

      he w a s s u p e r v i s ed because you can really mess up

      Du c k w o r t h .

                     [ L a u g h ter.]

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       Switch a "D" for an

      "F " o r t h e " U " for an "I," and you get all sor ts of

      hi l a r i t y e n s u e s among the unit, what you can do to

      th e c o m m a n d e r ' s footlocker.

                     B u t I think of Kurt when I think of you




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      be c a u s e K u r t s t ood his ground and didn't let the

      ba d g u y s g e t t h rough during the tough times when it

      wa s h a r d .   A n d I think of you when I think of Kurt

      be c a u s e i n 2 0 y ears of sitting in that aircraft as

      a h e l i c o p t e r p i lot, that round is going to move

      ar o u n d i n h i s t ailbone, and someday it's going to

      mo v e a n d m a k e i ts way up into his spinal column,

      an d I w a n t t o m ake sure that in 20 years, at the

      en d o f h i s m i l i tary career, when he needs those

      be n e f i t s , w h e n he needs to have his rights

      de f e n d e d , t h a t they will have been defended, that

      hi s i n t e r e s t s w ould have been looked out for by

      or g a n i z a t i o n s j ust like thi s.

                   H e n e e ds you to stand your ground on the

      pe r i m e t e r t o s a y not as long as we are here will

      yo u c u t t h e s e b enefits.      We will be here to ensure

      th a t t h e s e m e n and women are cared for for the rest

      of t h e i r l i v e s .

                   [ A p p l a use.]

                   S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       So than k you for

      wh a t y o u d o .    T hank you for being out there

      de f e n d i n g a n d s upporting me before I even knew that




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      I w o u l d n e e d y o u, for giving me my first job out of

      co l l e g e , a n d t o day right now we have troops -- and

      yo u k n o w t h i s - - young men and women who are

      st r a p p i n g o n b o dy armor, doing those final

      fu n c t i o n s c h e c k s on their weapons, getting ready to

      he a d o u t o u t s i d e the wire.           God bless them for what

      th e y d o e v e r y s ingle day.            God bless their

      fa m i l i e s , a n d a lways God bless the United States of

      Am e r i c a .

                       T h a n k you.

                       [ A p p l a use.]

                       M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            Tammy has

      in d i c a t e d s h e ' d love to take some questions from

      yo u a l l n o w t h a t she's completed her remarks.                Wait

      fo r t h e m i c r o p h one and you're the first gentleman.

                       M R . W H ITE:      Thank you for coming today,

      ma ' a m , a n d t h a n k you for all you've done for this

      co u n t r y .     M y n a me is Larry White.            I'm an Air Force

      re t i r e e a n d a M OAA member.             I'm also now a second

      ca r e e r l a w y e r a ssisting military retirees through

      di v o r c e p r o c e s s .

                       A r e y o u aware of the increasing trend in




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      th e s t a t e d i v o r ce courts to permanently divide

      ve t e r a n s ' d i s a b ility benefits for life, contrary to

      fe d e r a l l a w , a n d possibly what might the VA be able

      to d o t o h e l p t hese people?

                     T h a n k you.

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:        Sure.   No problem.

      Th e q u e s t i o n , i f you're not a ll familiar with it,

      is t h a t a l o t o f state courts do not understand the

      la w a s i t e x i s t s, and they believe that they can

      ac t u a l l y g a r n e r a veteran's disability benefits for

      di v o r c e a n d s p o usal payments in a divorce

      si t u a t i o n .

                     I t ' s b asically illegal, and it's one of

      th e s e t h i n g s t h at we need everybody to work

      to g e t h e r w i t h u s to get the message out and to work

      wi t h o t h e r a g e n cies.

                     I n m y case, my Office of Intergovernmental

      Af f a i r s , I w o r k directly with state governments and

      mu n i c i p a l i t i e s and counties, a nd so I do work very

      cl o s e l y w i t h m a ny of the court systems across the

      co u n t r y , a n d i t 's one of the things that I

      ce r t a i n l y t a l k about.




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                     M R . W H ITE:      Is it possible that we might

      be a b l e t o a s k the Department of Justice, Civil

      Ri g h t s D i v i s i o n , to look into this and to star t

      su i n g s t a t e s t h at don't follow the law?

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:         I can't talk to

      wh e t h e r o r n o t we're going to do that within VA at

      th e l e a d e r s h i p level.       I can just tell you what I

      do i n m y o f f i c e , and I certainly do reach out

      th r o u g h s t a t e g overnments to make sure that we

      ed u c a t e t h e c o u rt systems across the country that

      yo u r d i s a b i l i t y payments cannot be garnered in a

      di v o r c e s i t u a t i on.

                     T h a n k you.

                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:             Next question,

      pl e a s e .

                     L T C W O LF:     Good afternoon, Madam

      Se c r e t a r y .

                     M y n a m e is Lieutenant Colonel Eric Wolf,

      an d I w o r k i n t he Army Casualty and Mortuary

      Af f a i r s O p e r a t i on Center.       Up until recently, I was

      th e C h i e f o f t h e Past Conflict Repatriations

      Br a n c h , w h i c h i s part of the Army's team to secure




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      th e r e m a i n s a n d f ind family members of remains of

      fo r m e r s o l d i e r s from World War I through Vietnam,

      br i n g t h o s e r e m ains home and repatriate them home

      to t h e i r f a m i l i es.

                     O n e o f the issues, since you had mentioned

      Ag e n t O r a n g e t h at I'm familiar with, is today as a,

      if a s o ld i e r , i f I get a call that a soldier h as

      di e d d u e t o w o u nds from Vietnam, except Agent

      Or a n g e , t h e i r n ame goes on the Vietnam Memorial

      Wa l l .

                     I f t h e y die as a result of something

      at t r i b u t e d t o A gent Orange, their name does not go

      on t h e W a l l .     T here's a se condary wall that th eir

      na m e g o e s o n .

                     G i v e n the recent changes regarding Agent

      Or a n g e , d o y o u know if there's been any change in

      th a t d e c i s i o n t o where these heroes, their names

      ca n g o o n t h e W all?

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       That's a good

      qu e s t i o n .   U n f o rtun ately, I don't have the ans wer

      be c a u s e V A d o e s not control the Vietnam Memorial

      Wa l l .    S o t h a t doesn't fall under our agency, and




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      we w o u l d n ' t m a k e those decisions.             We certainly

      st a n d r e a d y t o advise our federal partners on the

      de c i s i o n s t h a t we made and w hy we made them.

                       L T C W O LF:     Thank you.

                       S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:       But you know these

      re g u l a t i o n s c h a nge and policies change all the time

      so I ' m s o r r y , I can't tell you because VA doesn't

      ru n t h a t p a r t i c ular facility.

                       L T C W O LF:     I understand.        Thank you.

                       S E CR E T A RY DUCKWORTH:       Thank you.

                       M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:           Next question,

      pl e a s e .     O r a m I looking?         We have time for one

      mo r e .       P l e a s e s tand up, sir.

                       M R . P A RKER:     Hi.    My name is Michael

      Pa r k e r .     T h a n k you for coming today.

                       I t h o u ght maybe I could give you some low -

      ha n g i n g f r u i t t o put on your support form.             I

      su f f e r f r o m a c ondition called reactive arthritis,

      wh i c h i s a n i n f lammatory arthritic condition, about

      $2 0 , 0 0 0 a y e a r to treat in drugs.               That condition

      is r a t e d u n d e r the VASRD under diagnostic co de

      50 0 9 , b u t 5 0 0 9 only says "arthritis, other types,"




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      an d i t t a k e s a very seasoned rater to understand

      an d h a v e t h e k n owledge that that's the code you

      ra t e i t i n .

                       S o I ' m still four years after my

      se p a r a t i o n h a v i ng troubles getting it properly

      ra t e d .

                       A b ig g e r concern is that the bacteria that

      tr i g g e r s t h a t d isease is well spread out throughout

      Ir a q a n d A f g h a n istan.   In fact, the VA has just put

      ou t a p r o p o s a l to make exposure to that bacteria a

      pr e s u m p t i v e c o n dition if you've been in the

      co u n t r y .

                       S o t h e re's lots of veterans that are going

      to c o m e d o w n w i th this type of condition who will

      no t b e r a t e d c o rrectly, either by the VA or DoD,

      be c a u s e t h e y d o n't know how to rate reactive

      ar t h r i t i s , a n k y losing spondylitis and psoriatic

      ar t h r i t i s a n d o ther forms of spondylopathies

      be c a u s e d i a g n o s tic code 5009 just says "other

      ty p e s . "

                       M o r e c ompelling is the fact that the

      An t h r a x V a c c i n a tion Expert Committee has stated




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      th a t t h e a n t h r a x inoculation probably is

      re s p o n s i b l e f o r the onset and aggravation of these

      co n d i t i on s .

                     S i m p l e solution.      All it takes is an

      ad m i n i s t r a t i v e change to say "arthritis, other

      ty p e s , s u c h a s ankylosing spondylitis, reactive

      ar t h r i t i s , p s o r iatic arthritis," and -- et cetera.

                     T h a t w ay the unseasoned rater can get it

      ri g h t t h e f i r s t time.

                     M A J OR G ENERAL WILKERSON:         Sir, I'm sure

      yo u ' r e r u n n i n g towards a question and I just

      ha v e n ' t h e a r d i t yet.

                     M R . P A RKER:    Yeah.     My point is, you know,

      I c o n t a c t e d t h e VA more than three years ago just

      to g e t t h a t q u i ck administrative change done, and

      th e y s t i l l h a v e n't done it.

                     I s t h e re anything you can do to just add

      th e t y p e s o f a r thritis rated under 5009 so that

      pe o p l e c a n b e r ated right the first time and every

      ti m e ?

                     Thanks.

                     S E C R E T ARY DUCKWORTH:     Well, let's do two




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      th i n g s .   O n e , l et me get your contact information

      fo r m y s t a f f s o I can follow up on it off line.

                     B u t w h at he's talking about is really

      im p o r t a n t , a n d this is, if you can help me spread

      th i s w o r d , n o t about that particular condition, is

      he r e ' s t h e t h i n g.   Our veterans need to come to VA.

      Ou r m i l i t a r y m e n and women, even if they're still

      in u n i f o r m , n e e d to come to VA in the first five

      ye a r s a f t e r t h e y come home from their deployment

      an d j u s t g e t a physical.

                     Y o u n e ed to get in the system because

      th e s e c o n d i t i o n s, whether it is an error where

      we ' r e n o t d i a g n osing correctly or maybe it is

      so m e t h i n g t h a t will develop later on or we change a

      po l i c y 2 0 y e a r s later, will mean financial loss for

      th e v e t e r a n i f they don't come in and put in their

      cl a i m s n o w .

                     I ' l l g ive you an example.         A dear friend

      o f m i n e p a s s e d away a couple years ago.          He was a

      Hu e y p i l o t .   H e was a "Slick" pilot in Vietnam,

      sp r a y e d A g e n t O range out of his aircraft.         He

      ca l l e d m e o n e d ay when I was State Director after I




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      go t h o m e a n d s a id, you know, I'm dying.         I just

      wa n t e d t o s a y h i and -- actually he didn't call me.

      A b u d d y o f h i s called me because he was stubborn.

      He w o u l d n ' t l e t anybody know that he had leukemia.

                     A n d s o we all started visiting him, and I

      fo r c e d a S e r v i c e Officer on him.       I sent one of my

      em p l o y e e s a n d s aid you will file a claim, and he

      wa s t o l d t h a t h is leukemia was not the right kind

      of l e u k e m i a , t h at it wasn't being considered.          But

      he d i d f i l e a c laim.    I forced him to file the

      cl a i m .

                     W e l l , now that the condition has been

      ru l e d t o b e c a u sed by Agent Orange, his widow is

      go i n g t o g e t a back payment going back to when he

      fi l e d t h e c l a i m , and so it's really important to

      ge t t h e s e v e t s , these military men and women, to

      co m e t h r o u g h t h e system, file the claims, make sure

      th a t y o u t e l l t hem and tell your members t o please

      pr o t e c t y o u r s o ldiers, sailors, airmen, Marine,

      Co a s t i e s .

                     W h e n t hey have, when they blow out a knee

      on a n a i r a s s a u lt, do a line of duty.         Write




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      so m e t h i n g d o w n that shows that they blew out a knee

      on a n a i r a s s a u lt.    You may not necessarily file

      th a t l i n e o f d u ty or file that paperwork, but you

      ne e d t o g i v e a copy to that servicemember so that

      we ' r e n o t i n a situation like we are right now with

      Vi e t n a m v e t e r a n s with guys trying to go back 40

      ye a r s t o f i n d a n old squad leader who witnessed him

      do i n g s o m e t h i n g that, you know, threw out his back

      40 y e a r s l a t e r .   So help these young men and women

      ge t i n t o t h e s y stem now.

                     T h e f i x to what you're talking about

      ev e n t u a l l y i s g oing to be a completely an

      el e c t r o n i c s y s t em that will, when the condition is

      en t e r e d i n , i t ' s going to be prompted

      el e c t r o n i c a l l y to come up with some of these rating

      de c i s i o n s a n d t he correct answers will come out so

      th a t w e d o n ' t c ontinue to make these mistakes so

      th a t t h e y d o n ' t vary across the country.

                     T h a t s ystem is being worke d on.   We're

      go i n g t o , i t ' s all part of the, starting with the

      VL E R i n i t i a t i v e , but also going into a broader

      in i t i a t i v e .   S o we're working towards a solution,




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      bu t i n t h e m e a n time, if you as an organization

      co u l d p l e a s e h e lp us get the word out to both get

      th o s e v e t e r a n s and those servicemembers to come in,

      ju s t g e t a p h y s ical, come and get into the system,

      as w e l l a s h a v e your officers and the NCOs that you

      wo r k w i t h k n o w to document, document, document, and

      ju s t g i v e a c o p y to the servicemembers.

                 I t d o e sn't have to go up into iPERMS.         It

      do e s n ' t h a v e t o go anywhere.    Just so that they

      ha v e i t i n t h e i r records.   So that ten years down

      th e r o a d i f a c ondition is evaluated scientifically

      to b e l i n k e d t o service in Iraq and Afghanistan,

      wh e t h e r i t ' s o n e of th ese parasitic bacterias,

      wh e t h e r i t i s a respiratory illness, whatever it

      is , t h a t t h e y w ill already be in the system, and

      th a t t h e i r c l a i m will go back ten years for the ten

      ye a r s t h a t t h e y 've suffered with the condition, and

      th a t t h e y w i l l be reimbursed for it so that th ey're

      no t t r y i n g t o d o it later on, and trying to find an

      ol d p l a t o o n s e r geant ten, 15, 20, 40 years later.

                 A n d t h at is probably one of the most

      im p o r t a n t m e s s a ges I can get out there.   Thank you.




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                     M A J O R GENERAL WILKERSON:            Ladies and

      ge n t l e m e n , p l e a se join me in thanking Secretary

      Du c k w o r t h f o r t aking time to be with us today.

                     [ A p p l a use.]

                     V A D M R YAN:      As the Secretary is leaving,

      To m a s k e d m e t o mention to check our Defense Forum

      Wa s h i n g t o n W e b site tomorrow morning.            We'll have

      ev e r y t h in g p o s t ed on there, and we want to tha nk

      th e U . S . F a m i l y Health Plan for sponsoring this

      ye a r ' s r e p o r t .

                     P h o t o s from today will also be posted on

      th e s i t e s h o r t l y.

                     W e ' r e grateful for all of our sponsors,

      es p e c i a l l y o u r executive sponsor, USAA; our

      co r p o r a t e s p o n s ors, Lockheed Martin, EADS North

      Am e r i c a , H u m a n a Military Healthcare Services; and

      th a n k y o u s o m u ch, also, to our patron sponsors.

                     I f y o u 've not had the advantage to stop by

      ou r R e s o u r c e C e nter, please do so on the way out.

      We a l s o h a v e a spec ial concert, musical perfor mance

      be i n g p u t o n b y Stephen Cochran in the Resource

      Ce n t e r .   I w a n t to thank everyone for their




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      le a d e r s h i p a n d being here today, all that you do

      an d c o n t i n u e t o do for America's heroes.

                  T h a n k you for your inspiring examples, a nd

      we h o p e t o s e e you here again next year, and thanks

      so m u c h t o e v e r yone who has helped make this

      an o t h e r s u c c e s s ful forum.

                  G o d b l ess you all.

                  [ A p p l a use.]

                  [ W h e r e upon, at 4:16 p.m., the Defense

      Fo r u m w a s a d j o u rned.]




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