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From Florida Today
Russ Marek, a staff sergeant, was serving in Iraq with the 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, when he was critically wounded Sept. 16, 2005, by a roadside bomb. His injuries included the loss of his right leg and right arm, a brain injury and burns over 20 percent of his body.
Marek, 40, said he slowly has learned to compensate and do more for himself. But he still cannot live on his own without assistance.
"He can't cook and do a lot of things," said his mother and principal caregiver, Rose Marek. "It's 24-hour care right now."
The Mareks have been approved for the VA's new Family Caregiver program for post-9/11 veterans that provides benefits for the first time to designated family caregivers of eligible severely wounded service members.
 
In a speech Tuesday to the American Legion Convention, President Barack Obama talked about the caregivers program as part of his plan to help veterans.
 
The program includes monthly stipends, health insurance and other benefits for the family caregiver. It also provides counseling and travel benefits when the wounded veteran must go for specialized treatment and other services. Quarterly visits from VA social workers help to ensure the veterans are getting appropriate care.
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