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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 24, 2007

Statement by the President


The brave men and women who have volunteered to protect and defend our country deserve to receive the highest level of support from our grateful nation. Today, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson and members of the Interagency Task Force on Returning Global War on Terror Heroes released a government-wide action plan that sets out steps to improve our care for America's troops and veterans.

The Task Force has proposed specific recommendations to immediately begin addressing the problems and gaps in services that were identified across the veterans and military healthcare systems. These recommendations include directing the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to develop a joint process for disability determination. Additionally, I have asked Secretary Nicholson to communicate directly with the members of the Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors to ensure that both groups exchange ideas and information that will efficiently advance reform efforts.

I commend the work of the Task Force, welcome its recommendations, and have directed Secretary Nicholson to work with all agencies involved on the recommendations and to report back to me within 45 days on how these measures are being implemented.

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