Tonight the Senate passed the Caregivers and Veterans Health Services Omnibus Act, offering groundbreaking aide and benefits for family caregivers of wounded veterans. The bill also includes significant improvements in care for female veterans and rural/remote veterans--two of AMVETS' top legislative priorities for 2010.
AMVETS National Commander Duane J. Miskulin applauded yesterday's passage of the bill in the House, calling it a "significant innovation in how VA cares for our wounded veterans and our underserved veteran populations."
AMVETS leaders were on hand at the U.S. Capitol yesterday for a press conference by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-Calif.) alongside wounded warrior Ted Wade and his wife, Sarah, and other House veterans' advocates.
Since Ted was severely injured in Iraq, suffering a severe traumatic brain injury and losing his right arm, Sarah left school, quit her job and took on the role of caring for her husband.
"I was going to do whatever it took for Ted to live in the community, out of institutional care," said Sarah during the press conference, "but I would lay awake at night wondering how we'll get through this."
Sarah, who now telecommutes for the Wounded Warrior Project, said the new caregiver benefits will allow more than 2,000 other military families in similar situations to make ends meet while properly caring for their loved ones thanks to living stipends, formal caregiver training, available health care, and respite care.
The caregiver bill will now go to President Barack Obama for signing and American Veteran will be following closely. Check back regularly for updates.
(Photo: Wounded warrior Ted Wade and his wife, Sarah, discuss what the passage of the veterans' caregiver bill means to them. Photo by Ryan Gallucci.)