Veterans

Veterans

The brave women and men who have stepped up and been willing to sacrifice for our Nation deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. To all of you, I say, Welcome home! Your service is an inspiration.

I am heartbroken every time Congress breaks promises to our veterans by slowly cutting their benefits. We must not allow the slow but steady privatization of the VA hospital system like that proposed by my opponent in HR 4457. While a VA hospital has providers of various specialties, they all have one important specialty, veterans. When a vet goes to a regular doctor and is asked if s/he has ever smoked and the vet says “no”, the doctor would see no reason to perform an annual lung function test. However, a VA doctor would know that the vet was in the Navy prior to the mid 80’s and had long term exposure to asbestos, requiring an annual lung function test. A VA doctor knows that an infantry radioman carried an extra 40 pounds everywhere he went, and his current back, knee or ankle problems might be service related. A VA doctor knows symptoms of Agent Orange and other service related problems that can be dormant for years. Our veterans were promised and deserve this specialized care.

Many veterans were told if they chose a military service career, they would retire with free lifetime healthcare. This too is a broken promise with retirees having to continually pay more for their Tricare health insurance. Next year Tricare will no longer cover vision care. Tricare does not recruit in-network providers in the 11th District. This is causing retirees to pay even more for out-of-network providers. I will sit down with Tricare and work to resolve this issue even if I must recruit local providers myself.

I am the proud son, grandson and brother of veterans and I am determined to honor vets and keep our promises to them.