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U.S. military seeks 'Wounded Warriors'

  |   Nov. 13, 2008 at 12:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. military says it's trying to locate upward of 2,300 veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure they're getting benefits due them.

The military is concerned that "some of its people may fall between a crack somewhere," Dale Smith of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, told USA Today.

The Wounded Warrior outreach program is part of a $65 million congressional appropriation to expand efforts to manage cases and advocate for wounded men and women leaving the military, USA Today reported Thursday.

Advocates, who have contacted more than 6,000 veterans so far, can help with compensation and healthcare needs and link the veterans to new benefits and potential employment, said John Chavis, a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior program.

The outreach is so unexpected that some veterans have asked if the military is trying to put them back in the battlefield, Chavis told the newspaper, noting, "We reassure them that's not our intent."

An estimated 33,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, USA Today reported.

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