As a disabled veteran, I used the VA system after departing the military. I grew frustrated because I experienced long wait times. Over time the VA has improved, but there is still more that must be done to ensure our Vets get quality care promptly. Republicans have voiced a preference for privatizing the VA. I do not support the privatization of the VA. In recent years the VA developed a program to allow Veterans to receive treatment from private care providers. While I do understand that not all treatment can happen at the VA, my greatest fear is the chiseling away of the primary purpose of the VA.
In Congress, I will work on funding additional VA centers in rural areas. Not only will this provide the care our Veterans need closer to home but will create jobs for the community.
VETERAN’S SUICIDE PREVENTION
After my term of service (ETS) ended in the military, it took some time to adapt to civilian life. I found it difficult converting the skills I learned in the military to the skills required in the civilian world. Understanding America’s healthcare was another issue I had to overcome. And finally, the uncertainty of finding a job was stressful. There have been positive changes in the military and preparations before a solider is discharge, but we can do more. I can only imagine soldiers who have served in hostile environments only to be discharged with PTSD to find it challenging in the civilian world. In Congress, I will work towards creating “My Brothers Keeper.” A program that’s not so different from “AAA.” Where soldiers that have experienced combat and were successfully able to adapt after discharge could mentor other soldiers that are currently dealing with PTSD. My idea came from after I left the military and how I’m still closer to those who are serving or have served. “A bond that never ends.”
Other Important Policies
Kim will also work to:
- Push for more VA telehealth
- Support the Rural Veterans Travel Enhancement Act that will expand on current initiative that provide transportation services to veterans living in rural areas and reimbursement for their travel to the Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
- Expand the John S McCain National Defense Authorization Act to allow dependents of disabled veterans the ability to travel with their spouses for Space A-Travel
- Protect Goal Star spouses (Coast Guard) during future shutdowns. Currently Gold Star spouses receive their benefits from the Department of Defense and are protected from payment interruptions except for Coast Guard which receive their benefits from Homeland Security.
- Expand the Military Lending Act to include National Guard, Reservist, veterans and survivors. The Military Lending Act (MLA) enacted in 2006 and implemented by the Department of Defense currently protects active duty members of the military, their spouses and their dependents from certain leading practices that could pose a threat to military readiness and affect service member retention.