Local injured vet urges continued support for military amid federal shutdown

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Region - posted Tue., Oct. 15, 2013
Contributed
Micah Welintukonis was injured in Afghanistan in 2012. Here, he is shown back home with his wife, Camilla, and son, Hunter. Contributed photo. - Contributed Photo

Coventry resident SFC Micah Welintukonis was on his third tour of duty when he was severely injured in Afghanistan in July of 2012. Welintukonis, an Army medic, was rushing to the aid of inured American soldiers when a suicide bomb exploded, causing severe injuries to his abdomen and left arm. For more about Welintukonis’ recovery, and his organization of a 60-mile walk this summer to benefit the American Legion, the VFW and the Wounded Warrior Project, see a July 1 ReminderNews article here: http://www.remindernews.com/article/2013/06/30/wounded-army-veteran-plan....

Welinkutonis recently underwent additional surgery on his wounded arm. He has regained 25 degrees in range of motion. “Hopefully I can push through the pain and gain another 10 in the next month,” he said. As he continues to work through his own recovery, interact with other veterans, and negotiate through the disability claims process, Welinkutonis is acutely aware of how an extended federal government shutdown could affect wounded veterans and their families. He has started a petition on change.org to urge the passage of legislation ensuring that military personnel will continue to receive benefits uninterrupted.

“I've created a petition to save Connecticut veterans from undue heartache and childish political games,” said Welinkutonis. Addressed to Gov. Dannel Malloy and elected officials of the state of Connecticut, the petition urges legislators to “Put a plan in place that ensures all Connecticut veterans, military and families that receive federal benefits, will not be disrupted.” The petition urges the state to cover benefits including “pay, and compensations, mental health care, health care, and funeral expenses, until federally things are restored.”

To sign Welinkutonis’ petition, go to https://www.change.org/petitions/emergency-bill-protecting-ct-veterans-a.... For guidance, comments or questions, contact Welinkutonis at sgtkonis@yahoo.com.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced that, during the course of the federal government shutdown, he would donate his senate wages to the Wounded Warrior Project, a group that helps badly injured troops transition to civilian life.
 


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