Department of Veterans Affairs, Army Launch Program To Help Injured Military Personnel Find Services
The Army and the Department of Veteran Affairs on Friday announced a new program intended to help military personnel with serious disabilities "navigate the return from war and maneuver through an often complex system of services and agencies," the Washington Post reports. The Disabled Soldier Support System, or DS3, does not add to the existing services for injured soldiers, but instead serves as an advocacy group and a source for information on available services. Acting Secretary of the Army Les Brownlee and VA Secretary Anthony Principi said available services previously were not coordinated correctly, sometimes making it more difficult for returning military personnel to find information. In addition, officials said that some of the services were lagging or had lost their direction during the past few decades when the number of serious disabilities had decreased. Army officials said that the program is contacting the 200 soldiers who have returned from Afghanistan or Iraq classified as "seriously wounded," meaning they have lost limbs, have debilitating injuries or are now blind. Brownlee said Friday, "We want to make sure no soldier ever drifts away and can't find their way back." According to Lt. Gen. Franklin Hagenbeck, the Army's deputy chief of staff for human resources, the new program has cost about $1 million to implement (White, Washington Post, 5/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.