The ICA has striven to maintain securing open access to chiropractic services for the nation’s military veteransis a high priority. In fact, the very first bill to provide chiropractic benefits through the US Veterans Administration was introduced into the US Congress by a Kentucky Congressman at the personal request of ICA’s Founder Dr. B. J. Palmer.
Since October 2001, approximately 2.6 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq and the greater war on terror. “The care of the more than 1.2 million returning military veterans who have been released from service and the many hundreds of thousands who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and remain on active duty is an urgent national priority,’ said ICA Legislative Committee Chair Dr. Michael S. McLean. “It is because of the sacrifice they have made for us and the unique and powerful contribution chiropractic can make to the healing process.”
This new generation of veterans faces new levelsof stress and trauma that has not been seen in living memory. The 24-hour stress, the nature of injuries, the length of deployments and the uncertainties of returning to civilian life all contribute to the physical, practical, financial, mental and spiritual burdens returning veterans must face. The statistics are staggeringwith nearly 10,000 amputees, more than 18,000 brain injuries, and almost 55,000 wounded with both emotional and psychiatric damage. Back and spinal problems represent one of the leading causes of lost time in action and are the leading cause of disability retirements from the military.
[iii]Tyson, Ann Scott, “Weight of Combat Gear Is Taking Toll-The Loads Are Contributing to Injuries That Are Keeping Some Troops on the Sidelines,” The Washington Post,February 1, 2009.