Casey's Spotlight: In Support of Military and Veteran Caregivers
As the brave men and women who serve and protect us in the armed services return home with the wounds of war – visible and invisible – family, friends and neighbors step in with care and support. There are 5.5 million of these hidden heroes – military caregivers who make tremendous personal sacrifices to care for their loved ones.
Yesterday, I was honored to recognize military caregivers during a hearing in the Senate Special Committee on Aging for their commitment to their loved ones. Among the witnesses was caregiver Wanda Ickes of Alum Bank, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Ickes was joined by her husband Sergeant Sam Ickes, a three-time Purple Heart recipient who sustained multiple traumatic brain injuries during his service in the U.S. Army and developed PTSD. The Ickes’ highlighted the need for greater resources and improved support systems for military caregivers. It is because of their testimony and the experiences of military and veteran caregivers across the Commonwealth and country that I am a cosponsor of the bipartisan Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, which would expand and improve vital support service for service members, veterans and their caregivers.
I am grateful to the service of Sergeant Ickes and Mrs. Ickes. In service to them, I hope Congress will pass legislation strengthening the supports currently available through the VA.