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Military Connection: No Help for Vets with TBI? By Debbie Gregory

TBI AL extension

As the August recess quickly approaches, Veterans are still waiting for Congress to take action on renewing an important piece of legislation allowing Veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive treatment in assisted living facilities.

More than twelve years of war on two fronts has resulted in a whole generation of Americans who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. Many Veteran advocates, and even members of Congress, believe that the government has a responsibility to support the recovery of wounded Veterans and help all Veterans transition back to civilian life when their service is complete.

The current pilot program that provides assisted living care for Veterans with traumatic brain injuries is currently set to expire on September 30th, unless Congress acts to renew it.

There is pending legislation in the Senate that would extend the program for three years, at a cost of $46 million. But lawmakers in both houses are currently preoccupied with trying to reach an agreement on reforming the hot-ticket Veterans healthcare system. Along with drawing Congress’s attention away from the program’s legislation, the VA reform bill is expected to cost over $40 billion per year, so it may be taking the funding from the assisted living program as well.

The program, which began in 2008 was intended to generate more effective rehabilitation methods for Veterans suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Many leading Veteran advocacy groups are demanding that Congress needs to find both the time and the resources to extend the assisted living program.

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Military Connection: No Help for Vets with TBI? By Debbie Gregory

Let me introduce myself~ I am Shelle…

I will be working on The MC Blog… in bringing to you, our readers, updates on what is important to you.

My name is Shelle Michaels, and I profess to be a social networking guru with years of experience as Soldiers’ Angels Communication Officer. Being a volunteer for Soldiers’ Angels (www.soldiersangels.org) has not only been the right thing for me to do in support of the our nation’s service members and their families; it has become my passion. Through the countless hours I put into ‘MY soldiers’ at the local and national level, my efforts have not gone unnoticed by the North Dakota National Guard, North Dakota or Soldiers’ Angels as a whole.

In 2006 I was honored with the Martin Luthur King Jr. Service to North Dakota award and in 2007 I received the Distinguished Center of Influence for my support of the NDARNG 188th ADA JLENS Soldiers and the Outstanding Center of Influence for the support given the NDARNG 188th ADA SECFOR Soldiers that were deployed to Afghanistan. These awards are the top levels of recognition to be given to individuals in support based roles.

I am currently pursuing my graduate degrees at the University of North Dakota where I teach Public Relations classes in the School of Communication. My students learn how to turn theory into application as they often get involved through class work that focuses on Soldiers’ Angels or they end up volunteering on projects outside of class.

My daughters also, are stepping up as leaders in their social spaces, and I contribute this to their involvement in Soldiers’ Angels.

I live by the motto of Winston Churchill, ‘We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”

If you need to get in touch with me, I am always available by email and your suggestions for this blog are appreciated. Let me know what you want to see on this site and how I can make this one of your best resources possible.  ShelleMichaels @ msn.com is the best way to reach me. Have a great day…until next time.