Remembering Our Vets on Veterans Day
On this Veterans Day, a New Jersey lawmaker is introducing legislation designed to help the family members who care for military members when they return home with a disabling injury.
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield), along with Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-Cape May Court House), is sponsoring a package of six bills to boost assistance for the caregivers of wounded warriors.
"This legislation is designed to help family members who take care of the disabled veterans who return home, giving them tax credits and some type of financial help through the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, providing financial planning for them," Mazzeo said.
Individuals in these families must have both financial and psychological stability in order to provide adequate help, according to Mazzeo.
"Oftentimes the family members are in as much distress as the wounded warrior, and we have to take care of our veterans and we have to do it in a way that everybody wins, including their family members," he said.
Mazzeo said the men and women who serve in the United States military take an oath to protect and serve our nation, and sometimes they're returning with debilitating injuries.
"I think it's only honorable and I think it's only the common sense thing to do, for someone who sacrificed what they did, to give to them -- as far as some type of financial -- and some help with their families," he said.
A Rand Corporation study in March revealed that 53 percent of voluntary caregivers in the post-9/11 era have no support network. Of those, 40 percent do not have health insurance coverage for themselves, and 12 percent provide 40 or more hours of care each week. An estimated 1.1 million Americans provide voluntary care to wounded veterans.