Isakson applauds work of facility

Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Sen. Johnny Isakson speaks with the press following a visit to Fort Gordon. He visited the Eisenhower Neuroscience Center on Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., visited Fort Gordon's Dwight D. Eisenhower Neuroscience Center Tuesday to witness firsthand the work of medical staff who treat service members suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Fort Gordon's program is "the gold standard" for other military posts across the nation, he told a group of staff of the Signal Center of Excellence, Fort Gordon Garrison and the neuroscience center. The hospital opened its Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, the first of its kind in the Army, last year.

"They are dealing with what is a very, very difficult result of this war conflict," Isakson said at the Signal Museum. "Honestly, these disorders were not getting diagnosed as quickly as they should have in the early years of the conflicts. Early diagnosis is the key."

Isakson applauded the work of doctors, nurses and clinical psychologists who treat soldiers suffering from neurological disorders, musculoskeletal injury and pain syndromes, said Jennifer Chipman, spokeswoman for Eisenhower Medical Center. Since January, the clinic has served more than 230 service members.

Isakson said he met a first sergeant who served three tours in Iraq.

"He was hit on multiple occasions by improvised explosive devices, and he talked to me about his transition," Isakson said. "He's a living testimony on what's being done here."

The senator also visited the National Security Agency, residential areas and other facilities on the post.

Augusta's investment in the post will benefit the many patients injured in war and the community as a whole, Isakson said.

"These are the men and women who are protecting our freedom," he said. "This program is pioneering."

Senator criticizes comments

While touring Robins Air Force Base in Macon, Ga., on Tuesday, Sen. Johnny Isakson said recent comments on the war in Afghanistan by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele are "totally unacceptable."

Steele's comment that Afghanistan is "a war of Obama's choosing" has been sharply criticized within his party. Isakson said the conflict is "America's war. It started under the Bush administration and it's been continued under the Obama administration." He did not call for Steele to resign as chairman.

-- Associated Press