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Opening Statement of Hon. Ginny Brown-Waite, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

I also want to thank Secretary Nicholson for appearing before the Committee today. 

Responding to the problems at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, President Bush took the appropriate step of creating the Task Force on Returning Global War on Terror Heroes.  This panel worked tirelessly to identify recommendations on how Congress can improve the care and support for our returning soldiers.  Their findings focused on several key areas, including health care services, employment assistance, benefits, and outreach efforts.

Mr. Chairman, with thousands of wounded soldiers returning from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, Congress has an obligation to ensure that these individuals receive the best health care in the world.  Never again should we see a breakdown like what occurred at Walter Reed.  Congress, the VA, and DOD need to work together to bring about the changes needed in caring for our veterans.    

I look forward to hearing from the Secretary about the panel’s findings.  Thank you.