Helping Veterans Improve Their Health
When Johnny comes marching home again, he may need some help.
With a growing number of wounded veterans returning from war, TV 20's Robert Bradfield reports the Gainesville VA Medical Center is showing how it can help.
"I caught 73 pieces of shrapnel and one bullet," recalls Jonathan Pruden.
He knows first hand the casualties of war. He lost his right leg from an IED in 2003 in Baghdad. "Just trying to make sure some of the hurdles I faced and obstacles I faced both with the benefits and healthcare don't cause these guys to stumble."
The guys he's referring to are military veterans who got a look at the latest treatments and technologies used for veterans who suffer serious physical injury. These therapies can help those with spinal cord injuries or limited mobility.
"The best way we can learn to is to bring them into the lab and have them involved in the new interventions and how well they work and be able to translate that into practice and other VA research sites," says coordinator Kristen Wing.
The VA also hosted an information session for veterans on the programs that could improve their health.
"There's a lot of great things we can do for them at the VA, but if we don't see you, we can't help you," says Wing, who wants veterans to know they have someone they can count on.
There are 24 million veterans currently living in the U.S.
Eight million are enrolled in the VA Healthcare System, and with programs like this, the VA Hospital hopes to bring awareness to those currently not enrolled.
According to Pruden, "People are very interested in what cutting-edge research there is and also the benefits that are available from different service organizations and from the VA. It's exciting to see everyone out here."
The medical center and Pruden's mission is to help wounded warriors rebuild not only their spirits, but their lives, too.
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