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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
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A

LEGISLATION FRAMING THE COMMITTEE’S TASK

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PUBLIC LAW 110–181—JAN. 28, 2008 122 STAT. 477

Subtitle E—Studies and Reports

SEC. 1661. STUDY ON PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH AND OTHER READJUSTMENT NEEDS OF MEMBERS AND FORMER MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES WHO DEPLOYED IN OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM AND OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM AND THEIR FAMILIES.

(a) STUDY REQUIRED.—The Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences for a study on the physical and mental health and other readjustment needs of members and former members of the Armed Forces who deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and their families as a result of such deployment.

(b) PHASES.—The study required under subsection (a) shall consist of two phases:

(1) A preliminary phase, to be completed not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act—

(A) to identify preliminary findings on the physical and mental health and other readjustment needs described in subsection (a) and on gaps in care for the members, former members, and families described in that subsection; and (B) to determine the parameters of the second phase of the study under paragraph (2).

(2) A second phase, to be completed not later than three years after the date of the enactment of this Act, to carry out a comprehensive assessment, in accordance with the parameters identified under the preliminary report required by paragraph (1), of the physical and mental health and other readjustment needs of members and former members of the Armed Forces who deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom and their families as a result of such deployment, including, at a minimum—

(A) an assessment of the psychological, social, and economic impacts of such deployment on such members and former members and their families;

(B) an assessment of the particular impacts of multiple deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom on such members and former members and their families;

(C) an assessment of the full scope of the neurological, psychiatric, and psychological effects of traumatic brain injury on members and former members of the Armed Forces, including the effects of such effects on the family members of such members and former members, and an assessment of the efficacy of current treatment approaches for traumatic brain injury in the

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
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United States and the efficacy of screenings and treatment approaches for traumatic brain injury within the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs;

(D) an assessment of the effects of undiagnosed injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, an estimate of the long-term costs associated with such injuries, and an assessment of the efficacy of screenings and treatment approaches for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions within the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs;

(E) an assessment of the gender- and ethnic group specific needs and concerns of members of the Armed Forces and veterans;

(F) an assessment of the particular needs and concerns of children of members of the Armed Forces, taking into account differing age groups, impacts on development and education, and the mental and emotional well being of children;

(G) an assessment of the particular educational and vocational needs of such members and former members and their families, and an assessment of the efficacy of existing educational and vocational programs to address such needs;

(H) an assessment of the impacts on communities with high populations of military families, including military housing communities and townships with deployed members of the National Guard and Reserve, of deployments associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and an assessment of the efficacy of programs that address community outreach and education concerning military deployments of community residents;

(I) an assessment of the impacts of increasing numbers of older and married members of the Armed Forces on readjustment requirements;

(J) the development, based on such assessments, of recommendations for programs, treatments, or policy remedies targeted at preventing, minimizing, or addressing the impacts, gaps, and needs identified; and

(K) the development, based on such assessments, of recommendations for additional research on such needs.

(c) POPULATIONS TO BE STUDIED.—The study required under subsection (a) shall consider the readjustment needs of each population of individuals as follows:

(1) Members of the regular components of the Armed Forces who are returning, or have returned, to the United States from deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

(2) Members of the National Guard and Reserve who are returning, or have returned, to the United States from deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

(3) Veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

(4) Family members of the members and veterans described in paragraphs (1) through (3).

(d) ACCESS TO INFORMATION.—The National Academy of Sciences shall have access to such personnel, information, records, and systems of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs as the National Academy of Sciences requires in order to carry out the study required under subsection (a).

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
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(e) PRIVACY OF INFORMATION.—The National Academy of Sciences shall maintain any personally identifiable information accessed by the Academy in carrying out the study required under subsection (a) in accordance with all applicable laws, protections, and best practices regarding the privacy of such information, and may not permit access to such information by any persons or entities not engaged in work under the study.

(f) REPORTS BY NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.—Upon the completion of each phase of the study required under subsection (a), the National Academy of Sciences shall submit to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the congressional defense committees a report on such phase of the study.

(g) DOD AND VA RESPONSE TO NAS REPORTS.—Not later than 90 days after the receipt of a report under subsection (f) on each phase of the study required under subsection (a), the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall develop a final joint Department of Defense-Department of Veterans Affairs response to the findings and recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences contained in such report.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
×

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
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Page 483
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
×
Page 484
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
×
Page 485
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Legislation Framing the Committee's Task." Institute of Medicine. 2013. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13499.
×
Page 486
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As of December 2012, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq have resulted in the deployment of about 2.2 million troops; there have been 2,222 US fatalities in OEF and Operation New Dawn (OND)1 and 4,422 in OIF. The numbers of wounded US troops exceed 16,000 in Afghanistan and 32,000 in Iraq. In addition to deaths and morbidity, the operations have unforeseen consequences that are yet to be fully understood.

In contrast with previous conflicts, the all-volunteer military has experienced numerous deployments of individual service members; has seen increased deployments of women, parents of young children, and reserve and National Guard troops; and in some cases has been subject to longer deployments and shorter times at home between deployments. Numerous reports in the popular press have made the public aware of issues that have pointed to the difficulty of military personnel in readjusting after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of those who have served in OEF and OIF readjust with few difficulties, but others have problems in readjusting to home, reconnecting with family members, finding employment, and returning to school.

In response to the return of large numbers of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical-health and mental-health problems and to the growing readjustment needs of active duty service members, veterans, and their family members, Congress included Section 1661 of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008. That section required the secretary of defense, in consultation with the secretary of veterans affairs, to enter into an agreement with the National Academies for a study of the physical-health, mental-health, and other readjustment needs of members and former members of the armed forces who were deployed in OIF or OEF, their families, and their communities as a result of such deployment.

The study consisted of two phases. The Phase 1 task was to conduct a preliminary assessment. The Phase 2 task was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the physical, psychologic, social, and economic effects of deployment on and identification of gaps in care for members and former members, their families, and their communities. The Phase 1 report was completed in March 2010 and delivered to the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the relevant committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The secretaries of DOD and VA responded to the Phase 1 report in September 2010. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families fulfills the requirement for Phase 2.

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