Our men and women in the military serve and sacrifice to protect not only the values Americans hold dear, but to protect current and future generations. So, it is ironic that those same individuals – injured as a result of that service -- are not supported by our nation to assist them in bringing forth the next generation.
But voices in the Idaho Legislature are calling on the federal government to be accountable to its veterans.
On Monday, Feb. 11, Representative Brooke Green introduced a memorial that asks Congress to provide fertility treatment to veterans who have been injured or disabled in ways that affect their ability to have children.
“If a veteran sustains an injury that hurts their ability to have children, under current policy they will have to pay for treatment out of pocket,” she explained. “That’s not right. Our service members risk their lives for us and should not lose their ability to have children when we have the means to help them. These individuals have made the ultimate sacrifice and they should be able to start a family when they return home.”
The issue was brought to Green’s attention by a retired Army captain who sustained complex blast injuries while serving in Afghanistan that impacted his fertility. The retiree has paid thousands of dollars to have children because fertility services are not covered by the Veterans Administration healthcare.
As drafted, the bill requests Congress enact legislation establishing IVF (in vitro fertilization) and IUI (intrauterine insemination) as covered benefits for veterans with service-connected disability, and to the spouses of such veterans.
Support for this should cut across partisan divides to back our veterans and pressure Congress to provide this benefit. As stated in the bill, family life is of the utmost importance, and those who served in the military should not lose that ability when it is within our nation’s capacity to assist them.