Veterans who have served their country honorably deserve to have strong employment opportunities when they return from service and a VA system that is attentive to their needs. It is the least we can do for their years of service for our country. Veterans have unique needs and we as policymakers need to remain aware of that fact as we try to address the challenges they face throughout their lives.
Right now, we face challenges on many fronts. Older veterans are fighting for their rightfully earned health care, while those returning face the difficulty of returning home. Too many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans face continued hardships both personally and professionally as they transition back to civilian life. We must also ensure servicewomen’s access to comprehensive care as they become a larger part of our veteran populations. We have our work cut out for us, but I remain confidant that veterans will remain one of the bipartisan issues that can actually still move in these more partisan times.
Throughout my time in Congress I have introduced and cosponsored many pieces of legislation aimed at improving the lives of America’s veterans. Three of my amendments were unanimously included in this year’s 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to help protect Oregon veterans, ensure greater transparency with taxpayer dollars given to the Department of Defense, and provide greater notification of service members rights under existing federal law. This Congress I have cosponsored four bipartisan bills to designate more resources to improving existing and implementing new mental health resources for veterans. Locally, I have hosted multiple veterans-focused town halls throughout the district on the newly implemented MISSION ACT. I wanted these forums to be held so we could have experts explain how this new program will impact veteran care in our communities and hear about the challenges veterans are facing with its implementation.
I am committed to helping Oregon veterans by providing one-on-one assistance with accessing their much-deserved benefits. My office has a full time- designated staff member in my Oregon City office who is devoted to helping veterans navigate the VA system. I urge veterans to call my Oregon City office at 503-557-1324 if they need any assistance.
I will continue my support for veterans through legislative action that further improves VA health care and access to housing, education and job placement services earned through their years of sacrifice. No matter when or where they served, veterans deserve the care and support they earned. I am proud to honor that service by working for our servicemen and women and their families here in Congress.