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Opening Statement of Hon. Jeff Miller, a Representative in Congress from the State of Florida (Statement for the Record)

Thank you Mr. Chairman. 

Providing top-notch medical care and a seamless transition for separating service members between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) is a priority.  This is especially important when we address care provided by VA to the severely wounded warriors from the Global War on Terror. 

Serving on both the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Committee on Armed Services, I take great interest in the medical care and services available to our nation’s veterans, and the men and women serving in uniform. 

Today we will review the recommendations to improve the care and services for our wounded warriors and veterans from the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Wounded Warriors, co-chaired by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala. 

The Dole - Shalala Commission based its recommendations on three goals to prioritize patients and families, so that we simplify the complicated systems that are in place while serving and supporting our wounded warriors from the Global War on Terror.  These are important goals as we address the needs of our veterans and wounded warriors.  The Commission framed its recommendations by these goals.

Among the specific recommendations reported by the Dole - Shalala Commission we find the immediate creation of comprehensive recovery plans to provide the right care and support at the right time and place to help establish a continuity of care.  Providing a plan would fulfill the goals to serve, simplify, and support.  These concepts will be valuable to review as the committee moves forward this Congress. 

Continued support for the severely wounded is imperative.  We must ensure that we are able to provide care and services for our wounded, and I look forward to the discussion today. 

Senator Dole and Secretary Shalala, I appreciate your service to America and its veterans, your contribution is appreciated. 

Thank you Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.