(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash), a key member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, today slammed the Administration for continued delays and runarounds in the care of America's wounded troops and veterans. Following the release of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report citing continued challenges in the release of disability payments, providing personalized care, and screening for such signature wounds as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Murray urged Republicans in Congress to help move Wounded Warrior legislation forward to the President.
"Americans were astounded earlier this year when we learned of the scandalous treatment of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. From horrific conditions in medical hold units to year long waits for disability ratings to a lack of screening for signature wounds, outrage over their treatment was felt from coast to coast.
"It is outrageous that nearly 8 months later, despite claims by the Administration of major steps forward, disability lines remain desperately long and the gulf between DoD and VA care remains hopelessly wide.
"We must do right by the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our country.
"I urge my Republican colleagues to allow us to move forward in an aggressive way to make sure that the men and women who have served our country so honorably are treated well when they come home. It is clear that without oversight and Congressional mandates, DoD and VA are at a loss when it comes to improving a system that is supposed to provide – not obstruct - care.
"We must get Wounded Warrior legislation to the President's desk now.
"And, in light of this new report, I again call on the President to send us a serious nominee to fill the job of VA Secretary. That means a truthful advocate for veterans, not an apologist for this Administration's failures to plan. Our veterans deserve to know that the head of the VA system can stand up and fight for the resources and benefits our veterans need.
"Our men and women in uniform have fought and sacrificed for our country, they shouldn't have to do the same when they come home."