WASHINGTON - Rep. Tim Walz has returned from a fact-finding trip to Iraq and Afghanistan that focused on the medical care for soldiers as they move from injury on the battlefield back to medical hospitals and eventually to VA facilities.
Walz traveled with the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, returning late Tuesday.
"The problem is lost medical records," said Walz during a call to reporters. When soldiers return with mental health problems, there is often no record of them having problems along the way, he said.
Walz said the transition from military care to the VA system is getting better but needs improvement. Rather than requiring soldiers to prove they were injured defending the country, he said, the documentation needs to be in a centralized system so they get care.
The delegation followed wounded soldiers as they moved from the battlefields to field hospitals to major military medical facilities. During the nine-day trip Walz visited Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Germany.
"I learned that there is no doubt the care our soldiers are receiving is second to none in the history of warfare," said Walz. "We need some more oversight in terms of the electronic medical records."