Senate panel advances $3.4 billion plan to expand benefits for vets’ caregivers

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By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux

For 20 years, Yvonne Riley has cared for her husband, Dave, a medically retired Coast Guard rescue swimmer who became a quadruple amputee after a bacterial infection turned into sepsis two decades ago.

With three young children at home, Yvonne quit a good job to bathe him, get him in and out of his wheelchair, feed him, help him when he fell out of bed and eventually help him put on and remove his prosthetic limbs.

“To this day, she puts me together in the morning. She takes me apart at night,” Riley said in a telephone interview from their family home in Semmes, Ala. “It’s a full-time job. But she’s never gotten paid or training.”

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