Our nation owes its military veterans a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifices. Each took an oath, lived by a code, and stood ready to offer themselves in defense of their country. The lives we live today, and the freedoms we enjoy, have been preserved by their protection. Too many of these noble service members have paid, what President Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion to our nation.” Many more of these brave men and women now bare the physical and mental scars of battle which will endure throughout their lifetimes.
The men and women who bravely protected our nation from threats both at home and abroad deserve our utmost respect. When members of our armed forces retire, they should do so knowing they will be afforded everything the Department of Veterans Affairs and a grateful nation has promised them.
Unfortunately, we hear too many heartbreaking stories of veterans who have unjustly been ignored or neglected. The bureaucracy at Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country has resulted in delayed care for our service men and women, sometimes resulting in premature and avoidable deaths. Following a culture of disrespect and disregard for America’s heroes under previous Administrations, I’m proud Congress has stepped up to rectify this inexcusable behavior and set the VA back on a path toward fulfilling its directive – to care for our nation’s greatest heroes with respect and integrity.
I have been and will remain a steadfast supporter in cutting the red tape and allowing our veterans better access to the health care and other services they need. In Congress, I have led efforts to ensure veterans have proper identification cards, to make it easier to fire VA employees who are not doing their jobs, and most recently to allow our veterans access to innovative new treatments like medical marijuana to help them overcome addiction or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Equally as important are the families of veterans, who have sacrificed and also borne hardships from their deployments. They, too, deserve to receive all of the benefits and assistance which they have earned.
We have a responsibility to protect those who protected us, and I will never stop making veterans’ issues a major priority.
If you’re having trouble with the Department of Veterans Affairs, learn more about how my office can help you with your claim here. For more information concerning work and views related to veterans’ issues, please contact our office.