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VETERANS: Murray Commends VA for Focus on Reproductive Injuries

Jun 06 2012

Murray: VA must continue to work to enhance fertility treatment services for severely wounded veterans

(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki to commend the Department’s addition of coverage for reproductive and urinary tract injuries to the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program.  The nature of the current conflict and increasing use of improvised explosive devices leaves servicemembers far more susceptible to blast injuries that affect these systems. Army data shows that between 2003 and 2011 more than 600 servicemembers from OEF/OIF/OND suffered these life-changing battle injuries. 

“It is vital our veterans and their families receive benefits and services that allow them to fulfill their life goals, such as attending college or having a child,” said Senator Murray.  “I look forward to working with VA to make sure veterans get the support they need.”  

The full text of the letter follows:

June 6, 2012

Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20420

Dear Secretary Shinseki:

I write to commend the Department’s recent focus on reproductive and urinary tract injuries in the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program.  The nature of the current conflict and increasing use of improvised explosive devices leaves servicemembers far more susceptible to blast injuries that cause this type of trauma.  This is an area that has been of increasing concern to me as these injured servicemembers attempt to move forward with their lives.

Recent Army data shows that between 2003 and 2011 more than 600 servicemembers from the current conflicts suffered reproductive and urinary tract battle injuries.  As these servicemembers readjust to civilian life and eventually get ready to start their own family, they find VA’s fertility services do not meet their complex needs.  While VA’s fertility services provide limited assistance to the veteran with reproductive and urinary tract trauma, there is no coverage for their spouse. 

I know that you share my belief that it is critical that veterans and their families receive benefits and services that allow them to fulfill as many of their goals as practicable, whether they include attending college or having a child. 

I look forward to our continued work is this area to support our Nation’s veterans and their families.