Any reductions to the military budget do not change the fact that there are still many physically and mentally wounded soldiers from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In an effort to ensure the Pentagon provides troops with the treatment they need, a private fund is contributing millions to build clinics on military bases, according to The Associated Press.
The initiative is led by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which owes its creation to the late Zachary Fisher, and is aiming to raise $100 million dedicated to the construction of clinics primarily for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Aside from being a significant contribution, the money is especially helpful because it avoids a lot of government-related delays.
Once the organization builds the clinics, it hands the operation over the the Armed Forces. So far, the fund has been responsible for the construction of a brain injury center and an amputee and burn rehabilitation clinic.
"We don't pretend to be doctors," trustee Marty Edelman told the AP. "So we build the best facilities that money can buy and we engage the entire American community to support us."
Clinics that address TBI and PTSD are especially in demand as troops come back from Afghanistan. Some experts estimate that between 13 and 20 percent of recent vets have PTSD, according to the AP.