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The local Richmond newspaper ran a story today about two wounded Iraq veterans whose families report entirely different experiences at the McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The wife of one vet reported that the hospital worked miracles on her husband who broke his back in a vehicle roll-over. In contrast, the wife of a vet who was shot in the head during combat was very critical of the care her husband received at the same facility. What is the explanation for these two vastly different experiences? The answer appears to be that the Veterans Affairs health care system is well-equipped to handle broken bones and amputations, common wounds from past wars, but is not equiipped to treat the signature wound of this war, traumatic brain injury.

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