issue_veteransFrom the American Revolution to the war in Afghanistan, generations of young Americans have answered the call to duty.  The sacrifice that the men and women of our military make defines us as a nation.  Their dedication and commitment, along with that of their families, ensures our freedom.  We should never take them for granted.   

In return for their service to our country, our government promised all veterans the benefits and support they need when returning home.  Sadly, the current situation of Veterans Administration is proof that the federal government is failing our veterans in the most basic way.

No veteran should have to wait for medical care.  Yet, over 40 veterans have died because they were placed on a phantom waiting list at their VA facility and denied basic health care tests.  Just as we as a nation ensure that our military has everything they need to accomplish their assigned mission, we must ensure that returning veterans receive every benefit that they have been promised - and that they don't have to wait for those benefits.

With the ongoing battle over Obamacare, one thing is abundantly clear to me - if our government has any obligation to fulfill the many promises they have made on health care, it should be first and foremost to the men and women who serve in our armed forces. 

News reports tell us that more than 344,000 claims for veterans' care are backed up and waiting to be processed.  It takes an average of 160 days for a veteran to be approved for health benefits, and the VA itself estimates that it has an error rate of at least 9 percent in processing claims.  That is unacceptable!  We owe our veterans much more than that!  We can and must do better. 

I am proud of my record helping veterans here in Michigan, including assisting veterans transition back into the workforce when they complete their service.  I will continue to fight for those who risk their lives to keep our nation safe and secure as your Congressman.