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Committee: Military Caregivers Of Pre- And Post-9/11 Veterans Need More Support

Last week, members of the Senate Aging Committee held a hearing to talk about military caregivers. With more than 5 million military and veteran caregivers, supporting these individuals remains a work in progress.

Military caregivers improve recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration of wounded and disabled veterans, says Republican Sen. Susan Collins who chairs the committee. 

Still, caregiving can be overwhelming and all-consuming.

The hearing looked at a RAND Corporation report commissioned by the Elizabeth Dole Foundation on ways to support caregivers, like the post 9/11 caregivers. Their numbers are on the rise.

Here, Collins describes what some caregivers face: "Post 9/11 veterans tend to be younger and face higher rates of PTSD, depression, substance abuse and traumatic brain injury," she said.

On hand to testify was former Sen. Elizabeth Dole who also talked about pre-9/11 caregivers. She said when those caregivers apply for the VA Caregiver stipend, the timing of their veteran’s service does not qualify them for that support. 

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.