Chair­man San­ders on Vet­er­ans Day

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Burling­ton, VT

U. S. Se­nate Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs’ Com­mit­tee Chair­man Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment on Tues­day’s ob­ser­vance of Vet­er­ans Day: “The truth is that we can never truly re­pay the debt that we owe to those men and women who put their lives on the line to de­fend our coun­try. Since World War II, more than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives in war. Mil­lions more have come home wounded in body and spirit. As a na­tion, we have a moral obli­ga­tion to pro­vide for the wounded and their fam­i­lies and en­sure that all vet­er­ans re­ceive ev­ery ben­e­fit they have earned and de­serve.

“As chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Vet­er­ans’ Af­fairs, I am proud of the work that Congress has done in the last year to strengthen the VA and im­prove and ex­pand the ser­vices and ben­e­fits avail­able to our vet­er­ans. Home­less­ness among vet­er­ans has been sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced, and the VA has made sig­nif­i­cant progress in cut­ting the wait­ing time for dis­abil­ity ben­e­fit claims. As a re­sult of re­cent leg­is­la­tion that came out of the Vet­er­ans’ Com­mit­tee, $16.5 bil­lion has gone into the VA to make cer­tain that all el­i­gi­ble vet­er­ans re­ceive high-qual­ity and timely health care. Much has been ac­com­plished. More needs to be done.

“In Ver­mont on this Vet­er­ans Day, I want to ex­press a spe­cial thanks to our state’s vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies. Ver­mont ser­vice mem­bers have al­ways re­sponded to the call of duty and we are all proud of their ser­vice. We have made some sig­nif­i­cant progress in re­cent years in pro­vid­ing for the needs of our vet­er­ans. Two new VA clin­ics have been built in re­cent years in New­port and Brat­tle­boro, and two older clin­ics in Rut­land and Chit­ten­den County have been re­placed with new fa­cil­i­ties. The med­i­cal cen­ter at White River Junc­tion also has been sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved. In an ef­fort to re­duce home­less­ness among vet­er­ans, we now have fa­cil­i­ties in Wi­nooski, Brad­ford, North­field and Rut­land pro­vid­ing hous­ing for vet­er­ans who might oth­er­wise be home­less.

“Novem­ber 11, Vet­er­ans Day, is the spe­cial day of the year that we honor our na­tion’s he­roes. Our com­mit­ment to vet­er­ans, how­ever, must ex­tend to ev­ery day of the year. To­gether, we must do all that we can to en­sure that all vet­er­ans in this coun­try get the qual­ity health care and other ben­e­fits which they de­serve.”

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