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Congressman Roy Blunt Meets With Rehabilitating Veterans

Congressman Roy Blunt took a tour of the Missouri Rehabilitation Center in Mount Vernon Monday, meeting several recovering veterans who are seeking help for traumatic brain injuries. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner tagged along on the tour and reports.

A speech pathologist explained to Blunt that one veteran, Jerry Eubanks was working on rebuilding his memory skills after he experienced several brain injuries during his service in Iraq.

Blunt stopped by to visit Eubanks on his tour of the facility.

The Congressman sat down with Eubanks.

He asked him about the year he spent in Iraq and when he realized he might have some brain injuries.“Blunt: Now when you were still in Iraq, you didn’t know that any of these had created an ongoing problem?Eubanks: Well, sir I actually had a lot of headaches, a lot of disorientation. At the time, I felt I needed to push on and do what I needed to do. And then once I got back home, I had mentioned to them that I have been having headaches and some other stuff going on and they took a look at me and diagnosed me at that point.”Blunt met with other veterans in the physical rehabilitation areas and in the hallways.

Blunt also tested some of the new technology at the center including voice and eye activated devices for veterans who are quadriplegics.

Veterans with those types of injuries can turn on the television, radio or a light just with a blink of an eye or a single word.

Blunt says this is the leading facility for traumatic stress and brain disorder. “What I wanted to see today and what my staff has been focused on for a while is trying to figure out a way that this facility can be better used by more veterans. And particularly the traumatic brain disorder challenges. Traumatic brain disorders are the signature wound of the kinds of conflicts we’re in now,” Blunt said.Some critics have complained that injured service men and women returning home from Iraq have not received the quality medical care they need.

Blunt says he would like to see more facilities focused on veterans who have traumatic brain injuries.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.

Congressman Roy Blunt looks at new technology for quadriplegics. Veteran Jerry Eubanks talks to Roy Blunt about his brain injuries and treatment. Roy Blunt stands with Dr. Thomas Martin and Doris Cassidy, the associate director for the VA.