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          Beyond the Front Lines

          December 19, 2008

          More than 170,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, sacrificing life and limb to keep America safe. Nearly 40,000 have been wounded, an estimated 300,000 are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and in 2005, there were at least 6,256 suicides among those serving in the armed forces. Many vets say when they return home, they feel mistreated and neglected and are forced to fight a medical system bureaucracy that doesn’t hear them. Are we doing enough to care for our heroes? Find out what’s really going on as Dr. Phil tackles this hot-button issue!

          Broken and Forgotten?

          Randy, 22, was severely injured during an ambush while serving in Iraq. His mother, Tammy, says when he returned home and sought medical care, he got lost in the system. They say trying to get any help from the Veterans Affairs is a struggle with minimal results.

          “They lied to him, they used him, they broke him, and they threw him away.”

          The Truth Revealed?

          Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Congressman Bob Filner, explains why military heroes like Randy are falling through the cracks. And, Maggie Lockridge from the Iraq Star Foundation shares a surprise with Randy.

          “That is a crime, and that’s been committed by our own VA.”

          Substandard Care?

          Jerry says he got a “raw deal” when he returned from Iraq, and he’s struggling with what he believes to be PTSD. His wife says Jerry is angry and violent, and the situation has reached a crisis point. And, Col. David Hunt shares his strong opinions about the VA health care system.

          “If they did their job like my husband did his job, we wouldn’t be where we’re at.”

          Failed by the VA?

          Kevin and Joyce say their son, Jeffrey, came home from war a changed man, and help came too late. And, Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Paul Rieckhoff, director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, share how Americans can help our wounded warriors. Plus, hear the Department of Veterans Affairs answers to some hard questions!

          “We all need to get involved and make Veterans Day every day.”

          Phil in the Blanks – The Podcast

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