Since I became a member of Congress, I have worked to ensure that all our veterans are given access to affordable housing, healthcare, and tuition assistance. With our aging veteran population and so many new veterans returning home, I am committed to providing veterans and their families with the care and benefits they deserve.
Our men and women in uniform face enormous challenges adjusting to civilian life upon returning home, and I support efforts to help our veterans make this transition. Just as the military pledges to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we will leave no veteran behind when they return home. I am proud to have supported the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, which was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and subsequently signed into law by the President on February 12, 2015. This legislation expands access to mental health services for our nation’s veterans and increases the capacity and efficiency of VA care for the more than one million veterans returning from war.
The original GI Bill sparked economic growth and expansion after World War II for a whole generation of Americans and made a free college education available to more than 15 million war veterans. I am proud to have voted for the GI Bill for the 21st Century. The new GI Bill fully restores complete, four-year college scholarships for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, making it on par with the educational benefits available to returning soldiers after World War II. Specifically, this bill increases educational benefits for those who have served at least 3 months on active duty since September 11, 2001. Additionally, those who have served on active-duty for three years or more would qualify for the full educational benefit or the costs of a four-year education up to the level of the most expensive in-state public school.
I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to ensure that veterans in the 8th District have access to the important care and services they were promised. We must remain devoted to strengthening quality health care for veterans, and must continue to send returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to college under the new GI Bill. Please know that my office is always open to address any needs or concerns of veterans in our community.