Speaking With our Veterans

Last Wednesday, I had the honor of being the Keynote Speaker at the 2014 National Conference of the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA). The FRA is a Congressionally Chartered Veterans Organization that supports Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard Veterans.

I have always maintained a strong commitment to those who have served our country. That’s why I am a strong supporter of legislation that will insure our veterans receive the benefits they deserve and need.

H.R. 3230, the Veterans' Access to Care Through Choice, Accountability and Transparency Act, is a bi-partisan effort to make the necessary reforms to improve patient care and accessibility at Veteran Affairs (VA) clinics and private clinics. This bill will help our veterans get access to care when they face the unacceptable wait times that I, and so many of you have heard about.

I have also co-authored H.R. 5229, the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2014. This legislation would give veterans time to receive treatment during their first year of employment in our federal government for both physical and mental wounds suffered while protecting our freedoms.

During my speech I addressed issues of retirement pay, Tricare and Veterans Health Care, National Defense, and other important Veterans topics. Additionally, I mentioned my intention to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 543, the Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2013, when we return to Washington in November. In 1991 the Agent Orange Equity Act was passed unanimously and gave presumption to all Vietnam Combat Veterans, including the Blue Water Navy. In 2002, the benefits were stripped from the Navy veterans serving offshore. This places them on a very long wait list to receive service connected health benefits and disability compensation. This is unacceptable to these veterans who were promised to be cared for when they returned to our country.


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