Iraq Veteran Lobbies for Greater Funding for Prosthetics Research

19 Sep 2011

An Iraq veteran and a television actor, both double amputees, are lobbying for stronger funding for biomedical research. Lt. Col. Tim Karcher lost both of his legs while in combat in Afghanistan in 2009. Robert David Hall is a popular actor, best known for his turn on the show, CSI. Both of them last week launched an education and media campaign that is aimed at raising public awareness about the need for greater funding for biomedical research.

California veterans’ benefits lawyers have been concerned to find that public support for funding for biomedics research has been declining in recent years. According to a survey, support for basic biomedics research has dropped to 55.7%. During the Vietnam War, support for research in these areas was more than 70%. It's likely that the declining public support is due to growing financial concerns and restricted budgets.

However, California veterans’ benefits lawyers believe that it's important to balance budgets without compromising veterans’ interests. Many veterans return from combat with amputated limbs, and require prosthetic devices. Over the past few years, there have been many advancements in prosthetics and biomedical research, and Karcher himself has one of the most advanced prosthetics devices. The device he uses is especially designed for above-the-knee amputees. It comes with a five-day battery life, making it more convenient to use. It also allows the person to use his prosthetic for previously unavailable functions, like climbing the stairs and running. Thus, the device greatly enhances a person's quality of life. The device costs between $80,000 and $100,000.

It's important to continue research into biomedics and prosthetics, to advance the quality of life of veterans who return injured from combat.