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tv   U.S. Marine in Mexican Custody  CSPAN  December 25, 2014 12:53pm-1:17pm EST

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can. i really, really appreciate the fact that you are holding this hearing and trying to get more information so you can do the right thing. >> thank you very much, dennis. thank you. rogan, i have got to be honest. i was reading lists last night and i thought -- hillary for charity? hillary? off.u left to be t >> i had to go back. tell us about the program and why it is important for young people? >> it is important for young people because they will be affected by it soon and there seems to be zero acknowledgment that in the world of these young people. it seems to be something that is not of high priority. it seems to be something that people think happens kind of
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naturally when people enter their 90's, and i do not think people understand it is not their grandparents being affected. it is their parents being affected, and soon enough them being affected. i saw that firsthand and i really thought there was a massive hole missing when it came to informing young people about the reality of this disease and it did not seem like a high priority anywhere globally to inform people about the disease, so we decided we should do it, because nobody else seemed like they were going to. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, i do not know if i will ask mr. rogan any questions. i would certainly be reticent to have a conversation with you as a comedian. i was fully prepared to be shown up by you, but it really bothers me that senator harkin is even more funny. [laughter]
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that kevin spacey line was great. >> i don't know if i will ask you a question or not. i will start with dr. herd. let me put into this record. it is really a question for dr. collins and his crew at nih. herdwas listening to dr. testify, it occurred to me it would be useful to understand if the prevalence of alzheimer's is increasing or is that just a factor of us living longer? i don't know the answer to that, but i assume that has significant cost consequences. are you expecting greater costs in the future as a result of longevity? and just scientifically on a research basis, has alzheimer's been with us to the degree it is today into the past? livedjust we have now longer and it is not that we are physiologically changing, it is just we live longer and
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therefore the evidence exists? i do not know that is a question for you are not. before i forgot my question, i went to make sure i got it in front of dr. collins. >> i can say something about ways.n teague of we look in our data to see if we saudi trained in prevalence adjusted for age. so, you are exactly right. one needs to be quite careful increased dementia due to increases in aging of the population from changes in dementia prevalence holding age constant. the latter would be a very important finding, because then that would suggest that has a -- as a population ages, we may see less prevalence than had been forecast. based onast have been cost and prevalence holding age constant. the question came up earlier about over the age of 90. we estimate 38.5% of those over
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the age of 90 are suffering from dementia. we assume that rate remains 2040.nt to as more people reach those ages, increase inthe overall population prevalence and cost. we studied in our data quite carefully whether we could see any change in age-specific rates of dementia over time. we saw a slight suggestion of that, but we are not ready to write a paper on that until we are quite certain about that. if there was a recent study in lancet, in england, that's adjusted a decline in age-specific prevalence of dementia, quite a large decline in prevalence. we would want to take that and put that into a forecast, we would want to have more examples of that from a --er range of occupations populations. but right now, it is my
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perspective we do not see any change in any specific prevalence. doctor, we have been using the word alzheimer's and you have been using the word dementia. is there a distinction to be drawn? >> yes, our study was about dementia because that is what our data would support. wehad some diagnosed size -- had subbed diagnosis of alzheimer's. this is somewhat outside my area of expertise, but my understanding is there is somewhat of a blurring line between many forms of dementia and alzheimer's. majority of dementia is alzheimer's, the great majority. but typically there will be vascular and mentor in addition to alzheimer's at the same time. >> should we expect an announcement of another study, the result of another study from you related to these topics? >> we are working right now --
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we have in our one from nih to look at long-term care, the cost of long-term care and the role of health insurance for long-term care, learn to care asurance, why do we not have functioning long-term care insurance market? it is very clear the costs are highly cued -- skewed and it should be a viable long-term care insurance market, but we do not have one. >> mr. rogan, i appreciate your charity. my comments are dolan boring, but it is an expression of gratitude. i appreciate your efforts to communicate with young people. that is something that i have no doubt is missing. one thing i might suggest in that regard in talking to young people is we need to instill in
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american young men and women the desire to pursue careers, degrees, education in ryan's and research. medicine. we need the next generation of doctors and i would just encourage you to do everything to encourage them that it is worthy of a career. that, but love to do one of the most depressing things i have learned today was in the to dr. vocus panel and one of the things he said to me was how the funding is the research in this area so sporadic and inconsistent that people -- and i relate to it as a young people -- as a young person -- young people pursuing a career are
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discouraged because it is not as financially stable as many of the other diseases that are having great strides taken in conquering them. i will do my best to encourage it, but again i ask the government to create a situation financially where there is means . what he told me again backstage was there are people that come to us with an idea that could literally be the thing that tours this disease and what we have to tell them is, this is a one in six chance of getting funded. and they take from that, if i focus on heart disease, i will make more money and also save lives. it is a more glamorous situation financially. alzheimer's is just not a cool disease, unfortunately. think -- thatg i was honestly one of the most distressing things i heard today, people whose natural instinct would be to pursue
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curing these diseases are discouraged from the financial landscape of this profession. -- while you earn a career as a comedian, you are very effective as a lobbyist, turning my request -- >> i will get the people. >> this plea for funding is one that we have made for a number of reasons, but included in those reasons is the understanding that people making about their career need to know if it is alzheimer's or any other disease, but the funding is going to be there, the uncertainty that congress and the administration can create and budgets in spending create a real challenge as we try to recruit young people. mentality that
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trickles down to people my age and shows them it is not that high a priority on a national level and that is what we are trying to change. our coverage of 2014 celebrity activists continues with talk host montel williams. he testified about marine tahmooressi.rew he criticized the obama administration and gave further testimony about the veteran's health. >> members of the subcommittee and the full committee it is very critical you are holding this today. i also want to say thank you to all of the members who made a point to come back for this meeting today. your peers must recognize that veterans are watching today and for those who did not come back,
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this will be remembered. remiss to remind this ammittee that his case is symptom of a greater policy failure. this is even more pronounced when it comes to ptsd. we throw this term around lightly, but we have to recognize that 30,000 new cases of traumatic brain injury occur every year in our services. and it does not matter whether or not soldiers go into a combat situation or not. the majority are for training exercises. we currently have over 600,000 veterans suffering from residual symptoms from traumatic brain injury right now in the v.a. system. our veterans from iraq and afghanistan often feel absolutely abandoned by our government. i believe they have a reason to feel so. before i begin, my testimony is more than five minutes.
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i wilson upsize and make sure i yield to others. there are some points that have to be made. we addressed it over and over again, andrew made a wrong turn. we have thrown up a couple of terms related to ptsd with that by saying hypervigilance, but we have to slow down and take a second to understand what that means. although jill cannot say it and others will not, we know for a fact that sergeant tahmooressi's time in this prison has been worse than his time in both combat situations. he will come back to the u.s. it will be treated for his combat ptsd but also his incarceration ptsd. to me this is an abomination. six months. he did not hesitate to say, aye, aye, sir. to go off and serve. how dare we as a nation, how dare we, hesitate to get
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that young man back? we sit here in the city and discuss sending more young people off to die. i have a son that is 21 years old who is asking me over and over again, should i serve? right now i am telling him no. that is coming from a guy that did 22 years in the service. but no. because our government does not respect you enough. how dare they treat him the way that they do and the way that they will? andrew's incident is clearly triggered by his ptsd. the hypervigilance when he made that turn in mexico, he made a decision to leave. when he got in his car, he was probably already triggered. just as some of you understand, i suffer from ms, i have scars in my brain that are synonymous with concussive brain injury. so some of the symptoms are talk
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about our what i live through on a daily basis. sometimes depression, sometimes hypervigilance. i can walk in this hallway and feel protected but be afraid to walk into the bathroom. this is what these young men live through. it is sad that we have one of our own right now being held in a prison while we talk about it. it is clear, everyone understands, he is not going to get the treatment he is due. he has served the time, i believe, for any crime that he could have committed. bring him home and let's treat him appropriately. but his treatment was not be just for combat ptsd. remember, treatment for ptsd from being in prison rests on our shoulders. now, i want to clearly say, i have the utmost respect for the mexican government and the mexican people. i am not one of those who is
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going to join into the fray of screaming for invasions and all of those things. what i will scream for is the one part of political diplomacy that has not been reached yet. congressman salmon, you pointed it out. it is called political compassion. compassion is what is needed right now. us to let this case go by and then deal with the other hundreds of thousands that are suffering by making the same mistake. my testimony is much longer than five minutes. i would please ask the members to read the entire thing. i would like to leave you with one other point. every nation on this planet and all people are judged, no matter what religion, faith you are, we are all judged by what we do for the least of us. andrew is one of the best of us.
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america's treasure. if we cannot treat the best better than we treat the worst, how dare you ask another gentleman to put on the uniform? thank you so much. >> lieutenant commander, without objection, your full testimony, everybody's full testimony will be entered into the public record. i appreciate your great comments. sergeant buchanan. >> mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee, thank you for the invitation to testify today. i am forever grateful for the committee's interest in the overview of sergeant andrew tahmooressi's dire need to get veterans affairs hospital medical treatment as soon as possible. first off, i want to say, i knew andrew -- i was a corporal when he came to our unit.
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i was the guy that made sure he had a haircut on monday, a fresh shave every day. if you have any questions about who andrew truly was, i recommend that you ask sergeant mark podlowski, his brother in arms, his best friend. the two were inseparable the entire time i knew them. you do not truly know a man until you have deployed to combat with that individual. i had the pleasure of taking part in training and deploying to afghanistan with sergeant tahmooressi. he was truly one of the best junior marines i have the pleasure of working with. you task something out to him, there was not a second thought, it would get done. he was the kind of guy that his peers looked up to. from the get-go, the first day i met his group, when they came to our unit, sergeant podlowski and sergeant tahmooressi stood out among his peers.
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he had a humble attitude, always eager to learn and be the best marine he could be. this was a marine who received a combat meritorious promotion. let me go back. sergeant andrew tahmooressi was meritoriously promoted to corporal. that alone speaks to somebody's character. to be combat meritorious with promoted in this day and age amongst our field, it is a rarity and in honor -- an honor with our gun club, if you want to call it. this alone speaks to the volumes to what kind of individual andrew is an contest to his -- and can test to his character. on andrew's last appointment to
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-- deployment, he saved the life of a fellow marine by securing tourniquets on him after he stepped on an ied, causing him to lose both of his limbs, it is -- lose both of his legs. it is in these moments that a man's true character is tested and andrew shined. he did not run away. he ran to help. congressman matt salmon, ed royce, and duncan hunter, i want to personally thank you guys. you have spearheaded our cause in getting andrew home. from the bottom of my heart, i want to thank you personally. they have also taught multiple letters in support to the state department and the white house. i also had the opportunity to sit down face to face with congressman ed royce. from the get-go, we had his immediate and unflinching support toward getting andrew's release.
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the crime that andrew is being charged requires intense. weapons trafficking is not in the region a crime and true intent was proven as being an accident. please help us get this combat veteran home and into the v.a. for much-needed medical care. everyday day he is done there is -- every day he is gone, there is a day longer that it will take for him to reach us in the civilian life. every military member comes back with different luggage from more. we all have -- it take different amounts of times to readjust and so on in civilian life. we all have good days and bad days but isolation is the last , thing that anyone needs. please help us get him home so that he can get the treatment that he needs. thank you. >> thank you, mr. buchanan. mr. hegseth. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here today. i want to thank chairman salmon, chairman royce, ranking member
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gabbard, u.s. marine duncan hunter, and everyone else who came back to be here for this important hearing. your forward leaning support for veterans in our military matters and is noticed. i also want to thank my fellow witnesses who are allowing a soldier to hang out with a bunch of marines. ms. tahmooressi, your courageous advocacy on behalf of your son inspires us all. sergeant buchanan, thank you for having the back of your fellow marine. lieutenant commander williams, using your platform the way that you are makes a huge difference, thank you. is pete heg i am the ceo of concern veterans for america. our mission is to fight for the prosperity of all americans and the well-being of veterans. we represent a number of growing american families who refuse to accept the status quo in washington. we fight like hell, aggressively and passionately to ensure america's veterans are no longer treated like second-class citizens in their own government. the ongoing situation with sergeant tahmooressi, who has now been held for 184 days by the mexican government, is yet another example of our
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federal government meeting a man -- leaving a man behind. in the military we leave no man behind. an unactiveg behind reservist in mexico. andrew tahmooressi is a united states marine. he is a machine gun or an infantryman. a decorated combat veteran who deployed twice to afghanistan, meeting the enemy in combat. sergeant tahmooressi literally saved the lives of his fellow marines. he was so good, as everyone said, meritoriously promoted, which is unheard of. there is no doubt this guy is an american hero, plain and simple. but his service comes with a physical and psychological cost. let me assure you, ptsd is real and if left untreated, especially for those that took place in the horrors of war, can become deadly.
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22 veterans in america today take their own lives. many more struggle in silence. as has been reported widely already, sergeant tahmooressi was diagnosed before he crossed the border and attempted to take his own life in a crowded tijuana prison. the condition has only been exacerbated by his treatment there and lack of treatment in the u.s. posttraumatice stress because he is weak or a coward or a victim. he faces the invisible wounds of war. right now, he faces them alone, largely alone, with a few advocates fighting for him on the outside. left untreated, these hidden wounds that can lead to the bottle, that can lead to reckless behavior, detachment and societal withdrawal, following my tour in iraq, i know i dealt with all three. but much worse, these scars can end in suicide. unless, of course, there is a lifeline. seg


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