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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 want to thank everyone for testifying before this Committee today.

As a country, we need to ensure that we take care of all of our returning veterans, especially those who have been wounded on the battlefield.  This Committee has paid close attention to the needs and concerns of those returning home from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.  In fact, we have received testimony and recommendations on numerous occasions on how we can improve the VA system for these returning soldiers.

The purpose of this hearing today is to discuss the projected long-term costs of caring for these injured soldiers.  There are varying opinions on how much this will truly cost and unfortunately, like in many instances today, it has been suggested that these numbers vary depending on one’s support for the war.  I look forward to getting to the bottom of these projections and hope that we can put aside any partisan feelings that may exist, so that we get the most accurate assessment of the future financial needs of our nation’s veterans.

Once again, I welcome you to the hearing and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue before us today.