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Why the Army, NFL and Lawmakers Met Today Why the Army, NFL and Lawmakers Met Today

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Why the Army, NFL and Lawmakers Met Today

September 12, 2012
All eyes are on the start of football season this week -- including those of the Hill's busy returning lawmakers. 

Members of the Military Veterans Caucus and the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force joined National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and members of the Army Wednesday in the Longworth House Office Building to say they're committed to researching traumatic brain injuries (TBI). 

Admitting they were perhaps strange bedfellows, the Army, the NFL and Congress nonetheless said they shared a commitment to keeping soldiers, civilians and athletes safe from debilitating head injury.

Asked to be more specific about how Congress would work with the Army and the NFL on this issue, Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., emphasized the importance of continuing research efforts.

A recent study of retired NFL players showed them to be three times more likely to die of neurodegenerative causes than the general U.S. population. And an estimated 10 to 20 percent of Iraq veterans may have suffered some form of TBI, according to veteran's advocates.

"This is not just an invisible injury that impacts our heroes in the military, it affects a lot of folks in the private sector as well," said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.
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