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Opening Statement of Hon. Corrine Brown, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida (STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman for calling this timely hearing on Traumatic Brain Injury.   TBI is being called the signature injury of Operation Enduring Freedom/ Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I was pleased to have my friend Bill Pascrell speak at my Veterans Braintrust last year.  Rep. Pascrell is the chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. 

He spoke of the struggle of many people to get the care in a timely manner.  This is no small concern when dealing with TBI.

TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue

Nothing is more sudden and violent than war.  The advances in medicine and the ability to get the wounded care have made injuries, mortal injuries just 10 years ago, survivable.

It is our job to make sure these soldiers have the best care available as soon as possible.  This gives the soldier the best chance at as full a recovery as possible.  It is not enough to make the injury survivable, but give that veteran a positive quality of life.

The VA has some of the best resources for recovering from TBI, including in my home state of Florida at the Tampa Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, inside the James A Haley Veterans Hospital, and I hope DoD is taking full advantage of these and other centers around the country.

I look forward to hearing your testimony today and learning what more can be done to help our young men and women recovering from these horrible injuries.