Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the audience at last week’s Bob Woodruff Foundation “Stand Up for Heroes” event that there is still much work to do for wounded warriors, but that the Department of Defense “will do what is necessary to fulfill our obligation to our wounded heroes.”
A day earlier, he told the Senate Appropriations Committee “the nation has an obligation to take care of those service members wounded physically and mentally in the wars,” and said he didn’t want any money taken out of family programs or training.
According to the Armed Forces Press Service, Secretary Gates has shifted money for wounded warriors from the supplemental requests and overseas contingency funds to the base budget, saying “we will deal with this problem for many, many years to come.” He added that, “for our part, in addition to [Veterans Affairs], we have tried to make sure that the funds for these programs have been protected and will be protected in the future.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen added that collaboration between DOD, VA and the civilian communities had to get stronger, and called on the senators to protect the money to care for wounded service members.
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