Serving Those Who Have Served This Veterans Day
Representative Phil Roe, M.D (R-TN)
Today, November 11, our nation observes Veterans Day. This solemn occasion offers an opportunity to honor America’s veterans—and their families—for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
It is my privilege to ensure the veterans receive the care and benefits they earned and deserve. As a veteran of the U.S. Army Medical Corps, I salute the devotion, service and legacy our veterans have instilled on our culture, even as many veterans regard their own military service with modesty and humility.
Veterans Day serves as a powerful reminder of how our nation’s liberty and justice has been preserved by the dedication of our armed forces. But this special day also underscores our need to recommit to America’s veterans and their families.
As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am committed to the well being of our nation’s heroes. That is why we must work to resolve the claims backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as possible. I was proud to support H.R. 2189, which would establish a commission to evaluate the disability claims backlog, when it passed the House on October 28. As of October 21, the VA’s backlog of claims that are 125 days old or older was down to 411,704, but we can do better and we must take steps to ensure this kind of backlog never happens again.
It is critically important that Congress put partisanship aside to ensure our veterans have the resources they need. That is why I supported the bipartisan Putting Veterans Funding First Act that was brought before the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. This bill would require Congress to fully fund the Department of Veterans Affairs’ discretionary budget a year ahead of schedule, ensuring that all VA services have timely, predictable funding, despite any gridlock in Washington. This bill awaits full consideration by the House. The men and women who serve our nation deserve the best care, equipment, training and support we can give them and this bill is a step in the right direction to ensure they receive those resources.
The Putting Veterans Funding First Act is one just example of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee stepping up to meet our promises to veterans and to provide for our men and women in uniform. I count it as one of my chief duties in Congress to ensure that our armed forces are fully supplied with the equipment, technology, and support necessary to successfully accomplish their mission of defending and protecting the United States. Both of these bills await action
As President John Adams said, “Our liberty must be preserved regardless of the cost.” On this Veterans Day, I hope you’ll join me in expressing our deepest gratitude to the men and women who have paid that cost in a very personal way, as well as to those who continue to pay it today. As Adams went on to say, our liberty has been “earned and bought… at the expense of their ease, their estates… and their blood.”
We should be proud of our brave servicemembers who are sacrificing daily to stop our enemies in their tracks. It is essential that we support the strategies and policies put forth by our own commanders on the ground.
This Veterans Day, let us remember that we must honor and care for those who so bravely fought for our freedom. Let us honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. Let us also remember all of the men and women who are currently deployed and who are in harm’s way. They are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.