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Health and Medicine

New bill would help connect the dots between injury and PTSD
Sen. Sherrod Brown says just introducting the bill may be the impetus for change

Tim Rudell
Sherrod Brown and Michael Fairman meet with reporters in Cleveland to announce the bill Brown is sponsoring in the Senate to help Veterans with claims
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More than half a million U.S. veterans are believed to be dealing with post traumatic stress disorder and other lingering effects from  service in war zones -- including traumatic brain injury. And some have had a hard time getting help.  But, WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports that that may be changing.

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Veterans who seek treatment for injuries that can’t be physically examined often find it hard to make a case if there are no records that prove a connection between their service and their condition.

Former Marine Corpsman Michael Fairman knew the military requires reports on every “significant event”— such as an IED going off or shots fired at a patrol. Michael FairmanIf that information were cross-filed into personnel records, claims of a long-ago injury could be factually assessed. He took the idea to U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. They appeared at a news conference today announcing a bill to address the issue.

Connecting the records
“You would think all of these reporting systems work together, and connect," Fairman said. "But they don’t. All this [the plan in the proposed bill] is doing is taking all that documentation and putting it together for the service [record] of the service member or veteran.”

Brown spoke of changing fundamental procedures.

“This is one of the issues where just the introduction of legislation pushing the Department of Defense to do this can change their behavior, because they can do this. It’s just not something anybody thought about doing before Mr. Fairman brought it up.”

Though the issue is bipartisan, Brown says it’s too early to tell how the likely passage of the bill may be.

Related WKSU Stories

Cleveland marks Memorial Day with a service at the USS Cod
Monday, May 26, 2014

Listener Comments:

The govt. has no interest in women or civilians. The govt.arr the guilty that cause it all and finance it thru the treasiry. Its so ignorant not to see that. Whats ur iq again? Grow up

Posted by: Lori Sharp (United States) on June 7, 2014 6:06AM
I would like to get involved with this effort to inform and educate about not just the military but how many other trauma related people are walking around with Complex PTSD. As a woman with the same diagnosis, I have spent my lifetime covering up my wounds from childhood abuse and trauma, rape and issues related to what I now know was begun many years ago. This issue should be seriously addressed on a much broader scale than is currently recognized in the World. Without proper tools and with repeated "injury" society will feel the effects of individuals parenting, domestic violence and abuse, inflicting affecting children that grow to repeat the cycle of trauma related injury that inevitably affects the Peace in Society.

Posted by: Nancy Sommers (Camarillo California) on May 28, 2014 11:05AM
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