This past year, I've been researching the treatment path of
servicemembers who return from Iraq with brain injuries. During the
past two weeks, the issue has gained national attention, but there is
an incorrect assumption being drawn.
The VA is not the scapegoat in this predicament. It is a terrible
misfortune that it has taken a crisis this big to reveal the poverty
of services to brain injured civilians and servicemembers alike. The
VA is responsible for most of the pioneering work in brain injury
treatment, but they aren't perfect. They are trying to do as much as
possible with a shoe string budget.
So who is to blame for the abandoned vets? We each must shoulder the
responsibility. We have allowed legislators to ignore the issue, we
have allowed grants and waivers to go unapproved. American society has
relegated its brain injured to institutions and nursing homes, and now
we're finally understanding the price of our missteps.