Veterans

  • I will fight to protect, defend and advocate for all veterans’ jobs programs, ensuring all programs created are centered in the idea that no one who fought for our country should have to fight for a job when they get home. We need to create opportunities and resources for veterans which emphasize the skills, education, and qualifications learned during their time of service that can be translated into civilian careers. I will support programs such as: the VOW to Hire Heroes Act to expand education and job training opportunities for veterans; the My Next Move for Veterans program to assist veterans in job searches; the Veteran Gold Card program to provide comprehensive job training to veterans; the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits program which provides tax credits for businesses that hire unemployed veterans; and the Center for Veterans Enterprise which assists veterans in starting and building businesses.  These are commonsense programs which would benefit returning veterans, veterans from past wars and eventually current troops – we can’t afford not to implement them.

  • We need to ensure that every returning service member has a real chance to afford a college education through government bills supporting education, funding resources to implement existing programs, and encouraging the efforts of private veteran-focused education organizations. We can accomplish this by amending the Post 9/11 GI Bill to allow veterans to pay existing loans with their benefits, including to pay off student loan debt. I strongly avoid opposing, reducing, taxing, or eliminating benefits provided by our Department of Veterans Affairs Support. We must support the efforts of the current administration to create a central record keeping system and modernize the Veterans Affairs benefits system. I will support the efforts to reduce bureaucracy in disability, medical, and educational claims. I believe that we should work with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to continue to educate and advise the active duty, guard, and reserve personnel of their benefits and of the benefits to which their family members are entitled through social media, workshops, and events.

  • Investing in the health and well-being of veterans is our number one priority. We must focus on the distinct health care systems that support them such as units devoted to the treatment of injuries and illnesses specific to veterans such as Traumatic Brain injury, advancing innovations spawned from the wounds of modern war such as advanced prosthetics, and improved care for poly-trauma, vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging and women’s health. I support initiatives to ensure veterans have the support they need to reduce the cases of veteran suicide and changing the classification of Post Traumatic Stress to Presumptive Disability.

    I will always defend veteran healthcare program against a voucher system of any kind. We must ensure that the veteran healthcare system provides equal coverage and opportunities for female veterans. Additionally, I will support programs and bills to provide medical care and coverage for veterans such as the: Family Medical Leave Act to allow caregivers to take leave to care for family members after they have left the military; the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act which expands mental health and counseling to veterans; and the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act, a bill that funds all veterans’ medical care a year in advance.

  • I will prioritize the fight to end veteran homelessness by 2015 by establishing partnerships between veteran-focused organizations and federal, state, county, and local governments to develop programs to assist homeless veterans. I understand the importance of supporting crucial programs designed to prevent and reduce veteran homelessness such as: the Stable Housing Program (HUD-VASH) that helps homeless veterans find and retain stable independent housing; the Stand Down Program which holds events across the country that provide services to homeless veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, and health screenings; and the Supportive Services for Veterans Families Program.