From statement by committee co-chairs Bob Dole and Donna Shalala:
Our report is rooted in the work done by the Commission over the past three months plus the work of other Task Forces and Commissions that have been examining similar issues. This Commission has heard testimony at seven public meetings and has conducted 23 site visits to military bases, VA hospitals and treatment centers across the country. We have heard from experts on providing physical and mental health care, navigating health care and disability evaluation and compensation systems, members of Congress and their staff, and most importantly, service men and women, their families and the health care professionals charged with their care. The Commission is also conducting its own nationwide survey of service men and women and is currently analyzing the data.
As a Commission, we believe that honoring our injured service men and women means:
• Our nation must acknowledge the significant sacrifices of our wounded and injured service members.
• While in most cases service members receive excellent care, the care provided should meet the highest standards of quality.
• Improving the system of care where needed will benefit all veterans for generations to come.
• Our goal is that the care provided heal, to the greatest possible extent, the physical and mental wounds of our service members to enable them to achieve their maximum potential.
• It is imperative that we continue to value the significant contributions of family members in supporting the health and well-being of their loved ones.