Today I talked with Mike Helms, a civilian counterintelligence expert who was serving alongside Army troops in Iraq when the humvee he was in hit an IED and was blown apart. Mike suffered severe injuries, inclding burns, a broken tailbone, shrapnel wounds, and tramatic brain injury.

You’d think the goverment he works for would take care of him, but you’d be wrong. Unfortunately, the military viewed him as a civilian and refused to take care of him at Walter Reed. The civilian medical insurance system told him he’d been injured on the job, and thus had to pursue worker’s compensation. The bureaucrats at the Labor Department denied him care, too, saying he’d been injured at war, and it was the military’s job.

On and on it has gone, for more than three years, without Mike getting the medical attention he needs. He’s not alone in this quagmire, and may finally have some interest from Congress, but in the meantime, he and other federal non-military employees are trying to break through a brick wall of red tape in the hopes someone will help put them back together.

Listen to his story.