August 4th, 2008
06:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama, Bayh send letter to Pentagon on traumatic brain injuries

Obama met with Gen. Petraeus while visiting Iraq last month.
Obama met with Gen. Petraeus while visiting Iraq last month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As speculation over the number two slot rises, presidential candidate Barack Obama and potential v.p. contender Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana joined forces Monday, signing a letter with eight other senators that urges Defense Secretary Robert Gates to increase medical coverage and care for Iraq war veterans left with serious brain injuries.

Watch: Obama pledges help for veterans

The senators point to a recent study from the RAND Corporation that estimates 320,000 troops from the two Iraq wars experienced a traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Earlier: Obama camp launches military families working group

"We are concerned that at a time when TBI is recognized as the signature wound of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan," the senators write, "one of the most widely accepted and critical rehabilitative treatments for this injury… cognitive rehabilitation therapy, is excluded by the military's … health insurance program."
The other senators signing on to the letter include political notables Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT. Obama and Bayh's name are clearly perched at the top.

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Peter E

    Well, I guess it's the least he could do after he repeatedly spoke out and voted against his own party's efforts to cut off Iraq war funding and also against setting a timetable for withdrawal... while at the same time having the gall to position himself as somehow an 'anti-war' candidate. I think MSNBC had a nice article on Obama's actual senate record on the Iraq war...

    August 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. LETS BE HONEST

    OBAMA

    YOU LOST ME WHEN YOU DECIDED TO PLAY BASKETBALL

    INSTEAD VISIT OUR WOUNDED SOLDIERS BECAUSE

    CAMERAS WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED

    YOU SHOWED YOUR PERSONAL TRUTH

    NOBAMA

    NOBAMA

    August 4, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. TWHITE

    YES, HE SHOULD. HILLARY DOES HAVE ALOT TO OFFER TO HIS ADMINISTRATION AND HE HAS STATED HE NEEDED BOTH CLINTON'S HELP TO WIN THE WHITE HOUSE IN NOVERMBER. WE NEED A STRONG TICKET, ONE THAT WILL WIN 2 TERMS!

    August 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Kathy in Indiana

    This state would explode if Evan were picked on Obama's team as the second spot. As red as this state is, there would be some very "blue" republicans! Wouldn't that be nice!

    Come on O – pick Bayh!

    August 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. SUNSHINE

    I would love to hear what McMeanie has to say about this. It would be amazing for him to attack Obama on this issue because essentially he would be attacking himself. Its a shame all of his campaign money will go to negative attacks and fear/war mongering.. way to go McCain

    OBAMA 08

    August 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Jozee

    Instead of slicing and dicing everything that Sen. Obama does and making crude, "funny" ads that distorts Obama's image, Sen. McCain should be fighing for veteran's health issues also. Instead he is dead silent regarding our veterans -not even having the decency to show up to vote for the G.I. Bill.

    Our soldiers have performed valiantly and they get no help from the "war hero" who is running on the POW ticket to get him to the White House.

    John McCain: The Maverick that has turned into a Muckraker.

    August 4, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. sherry for Obama

    I couldnt agree with you more Rich

    Obama for our Commander in Chief..........

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Why doesn't McCain like our troops?

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Ted

    funny when he is doing some very good work. the media does not want to cover it. What is wrong with America. Why do we only want the negetive.
    this is very important stuff. It is a Stand Obama has had for a long time. NOT John McCain

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Jack in Santa Fe

    MCain was a real hero 40 years ago, but that does not make him a hero now. He was held captive for most of the war. How does that make him an expert on national security? Read Obama's books and see who the real thinker is. If the country hands the presidency to McCain, it deserves what it gets. As for Bush, he simply stole it. I personally do not think either of the two candidates could respect himself if he did such as THAT!

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. fafa

    btw HAPPY BIRTHDAY senator

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Wisconsin Vet

    This is the act of a citizen not just a President to care for the one protecting our interest eben in this wrong war.

    God Bless our Vets

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Beth from Kansas

    Let McCain attack all he wants. Didn't work for Clinton, won't work for him.

    August 4, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Cotton Picker 1808

    Obama has shown consistency to military families and Veterans issue since his days as an IL legislator. McCain with 28 years in Congress has shown a willingness not to ever support Veterans issues, it makes you think, what was John McCain "brainwash" about while a POW is he a candidate for Russia in disguise?

    August 4, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. MoveOn

    Ever see a restaurant open in your neighborhood only to see it shut-down in 6 to 8 months? That's because the owners wanted to be Maitre D's without having the experience for running a restaurant.

    Clearly, John McCain is head and sholders above Obama when it comes to experience.

    I'd like America to stay open beyond 6 to 8 months. That's why I'm voting for John McCain, and why everyone wanting an experienced hand at the helm should, too!

    August 4, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  16. Sal

    Obama all the way in '08

    August 4, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Kathy

    McCain is already voting no on Vet bills, despite saying he hasn't. The same a saying he voted yes on a bill and was not there for the vote. McCain lies out of both sides of his face! McCain IS NOT for the vets, he is for the lobbyist, McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates, according to the latest finding from government watchdog group Public Citizen.

    August 4, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. Brian in Los Angeles

    Obama is such a joke. I can't believe the Democrats are backing this clown. Hillary would have been way ahead of McCain had she been the nominee.

    Looks like I am voting for McCain...or maybe the Green Party, who knows...but it sure isn't going to be a vote for Obama!

    August 4, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. Get a Clue, St Louis, MO

    McCain and his campaign will never be able to match the tenacity or sincerity that Obama has for the American public, including military personnel. It just amazes me that McCain hasn't done anything to address this issue or any other real issue that we have as a country. When exactly is he going to inform the public just what he's about or what his policies on anything are? Go Obama! Oh and Happy Birthday!

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Gary

    Evan Bayh is a good choice for VP. He seems to be about doing the right things and doing them right. Keeping our jobs at home and not selling our country to foreign interests. Good on economy and immigration. I truly believe, he believes "THIS COUNTRY IS NOT FOR SALE" McCain means more Bush no thanks

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. ShirleyY - Seattle

    RIGHT ON OBAMA, AMERICAN PEOPLE WAKE UP AND VOTE FOR OBAMA TO BE PRESIDENT. IF YOU ARE NOT VOTING FOR OBAMA BECAUSE HE IS NEW ON THE SCENE OR BECAUSE HE IS BLACK, HUMBLE YOURSELF AND VOTE FOR ONE THAT WILL HELP THE ECONOMY, GAS PRICES AND GETTING OUR TROOPS OUT OF IRAQ AND THAT WILL BE OBAMA. I ADMIRE OBAMA HE IS WILLING TO CHANGE POSITION AND IDEAS IF IT WILL HELP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN A GREATER WAY. I LIKE OBAMA OUT HELPING THE TROOPS WHILE MCCAIN IS ATTACKING WITH HIS IMMATURE AND PETTY ADS. MCCAIN IS ONLY ATTACKING OBAMA'S CHARACTER BECAUSE HE HAS NO PLANS OR IDEAS TO PRESENT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. jimmy velman

    Veterans Care for all types of war and other injuries on oour troops will be taken care of by a very new and State of the Art facility
    A new Walter Reed Veterans Medical Center. It will not be and never will be short of funds. Both Parties will see to that. And so it is not a political issue.

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. kathryn

    Who in the heck is this Evan Bayh? If Obama is choosing an unknown, he better pick them fast and introduce him to the world or he will look extremely amatuerish to the American people. No one will feel comfortable voting for 2 people who are not well known !
    Kathryn, Amherst MA

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Rich McKinney

    I'm sure that the McCain camp will make this out to be another bad move. The McCain, and much of the media seems to attack every thing the man says or does. McCain, so committed to no negative campaigning, has certainly lost sight of that pledge.

    Obama is a great American, and for the most part seems to be trying to run a decent campaign. He has been attacked from so many directions. I truly don't understand how anyone can support the Republicans for another four year term.

    I wish he would be allowed some breathing room. No one mocks our illustrious current president when he gets on national television to tell us how strong the economy is. Meanwhile, Americans are hurting unlike they have in a very long time with higher prices on everything

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. J

    While I know it was not the intent of CNN with this report to let its audience know that Obama supports America's troops, thanks for letting your audience know that Obama cares about America's troops.

    Question: are all of the other "political notables" (except for Hillary Clinton – who everyone knows Obama will not pick as his VP) potential running mates for the VP slot be virtue of having signed the letter to the Pentagon?

    I think you folks over at the Clinton News Network should realize by now that Obama neither wants or needs your counsel on who he should pick as his VP.

    August 4, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14