A nonprofit organization, in cooperation with the U.S. military, is sending wounded warriors back to Iraq so that they can seek closure on an important chapter in their lives. The Troops First Foundation, with support from the USO, has sponsored trips to the war torn country in an effort to help veterans move forward in their lives after sustaining debilitating physical and psychological injuries.
Although some medical professionals expressed concern about their patients revisiting the area where an attack occurred, top military commanders, such as Army General Ray Odierno, supported the program. General Odierno has first-hand knowledge of the healing process that many veterans go through – his own son lost an arm in an explosion in an August 2004 attack in Baghdad.
So far just two trips have been made to Iraq, but a third one is planned for December. The cost to send a veteran is approximately $12,000-$14,000, which is paid by Troops First and the USO. Other costs incurred in country are paid by the military.
Approximately 31,500 service members have been wounded since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Hundreds have expressed an interest in returning to the country through the Troops First program, according to an article in the Fayetteville Observer.
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