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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

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The high number of wounded warriors returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan will test America’s mettle in many areas for decades to come. While every veteran should be accorded all manner of assistance, from an education, a job and more, health care will no doubt rank highest for a large number.More than half a million veterans sustained an injury while on active duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Florida alone is home to almost 41,000 Iraq-era veterans on disability rolls, a McClatchy Newspapers analysis of 2010 Veterans Affairs data discovered.

As the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan near, troops will be returning home in droves. The scars remain hidden to many soldiers -- until flashbacks, nightmares and other psychological impacts of combat surface.As Herald editor James A. Jones Jr. pointed out in a report last Sunday, veterans should enroll in the VA health care system upon returning home regardless of the state of their health.East Manatee’s Steve Valley served as an Army sergeant major in Iraq, came back in good health and enrolled upon the recommendation of the military. He now preaches that mantra.“You may not need the VA care now, but who knows in 10 or 20 years? You may develop a problem that could be traced back to your time in Iraq or Afghanistan,” he told Jones.

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