Get sent to war. Get brain injured. Get home with anything from headaches and disturbed sleep to memory loss and behavior issues. Get to the treatment facility and understandably expect treatment for your injury. After all, you're a United States Military Servicemember and by God, we support you!
Nope! At least nope by half, say those in charge of having sent you to war in the first place. Your government-sponsored travel agency is made up of the same people who are now alloting $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) instead of the $14 million the Center received last year.
Proponents are shocked that funding for treating the war injured is being cut during a war. Martin Foil, a member of the DVBIC's board of directors, ironically summed up his thoughts over the cuts with, "It blows my imagination."
Alas, those behind the cuts are not without remorse. "Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," says spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee, Jenny Manley.
Let us pause for a moment and reflect on Jenny's words, representative of all the healthy-brain power behind the decision to cut the funding for brain injury treatment in half. They would have "loved" to have funded it, but brains that don't belong to them just aren't a priority.
How heartfelt. Where's the Wizard now, Scarecrow? The Tin Man killed him.
The week of June 11th of this year, the House of Representatives voted to give members of Congress a pay raise, an almost annual event for the past ten years.
The appropriations committees in both chambers skirted responsibility for the decision they made by referring to a tight budget. This is to say the appropriations committees didn't so much to make the cuts as the tight budget made them do it.
Meanwhile, families of the brain injured are trying to figure out how they might use the "tight budget" argument to keep from paying rent without consequence so as to free up monies to secure treatment for their wounded family members. Additionally, criminal defendants throughout the country perked up upon hearing the old "made me do it" defense is once again viable.
The Pentagon has refused the DVBIC's recommendations that returning troops be screened for symptoms and a database of brain injury victims should be created. Instead, the Pentagon insists on more research. Where the Pentagon will get that research without screening troops or creating a database is anyone's guess.