“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
To be a veteran is to be a hero. Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed dearly to pay freedom’s price and ensure our way of life. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who serve our country are emblematic of bravery, courage, and the American spirit.
Suzanne and I join with millions of hard-working Americans in expressing our sincere thanks to active-duty military, veterans, and their families. North Carolina is home to almost 800,000 veterans, with almost 150,000 living in our area. One of my greatest privileges in serving as a United States Congressman is working to ensure our veterans have access to the benefits they have been promised and the care they deserve.
Although a year has passed since the VA scandal of 2014, when some veterans were wrongly denied treatment, the number of veterans on treatment wait lists is now 50% greater than during the height of the scandal!
Ask any small business owner and he or she will tell you employee accountability is a crucial component of a healthy organization. Sadly, after a major scandal and dishonest claims made to reporters, the VA has proven to be anything but accountable.
To address this lack of accountability, I co-sponsored the VA Accountability Act of 2015 (H.R. 1994), which passed the House of Representatives in late July. This legislation provides VA leadership greater flexibility to remove employees based on poor performance or misconduct, and increases accountability and performance measures for senior VA executives.
Our brave veterans deserve better, so House Republicans continue to make veterans a priority.
- One of the first bills passed by Congress this year was the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (H.R. 203), which will increase veterans access to crucial mental health care.
- The Veterans Identification Card Act (H.R. 91) will make it easier for veterans to verify their military service and protects them against identity theft.
- The Veterans Affairs appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) increased funding to support mental health care, suicide prevention, and ending homelessness among veterans. This bill also addresses mismanagement within the VA to ensure your tax dollars are used to support veterans and not wasted by bureaucracy.
Mr. Garland Denny, a Navy veteran from Union County, has worked tirelessly on behalf of other veterans, including advocating innovative ideas to increase funding for veterans services. This summer, I led a bipartisan group of 55 Members of the House and Senate to urge the United States Postal Service to move forward with Mr. Denny’s “Stamp Out PTSD” idea to create a semi-postal stamp to raise money for PTSD research and care.
This year, I secured commitments from the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to move a planned bus stop much closer to the new VA Health Care Center currently under construction in west Charlotte.
My Charlotte office is led by the most experienced veterans specialist available, who has helped tens of thousands of local veterans navigate red tape at the VA. If you need assistance with veterans benefits, please call my Charlotte office at 704-362-1060.
The freedoms we enjoy have been purchased and protected through the tremendous sacrifices of our Armed Forces. An inefficient government agency with zero accountability should not get in the way of well-deserved benefits. As your Congressman, I am working in Washington to advance legislation to reform the VA, and locally to provide practical assistance to our brave veterans, who deserve our gratitude.