Rep. Monica Lindeen Statement On Veterans Day
November 11, 2005
Contact: Neal Ullman, 406-254-2006
(BILLINGS, Mont.) - Monica Lindeen, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, released today the following statement in honor of Veterans Day:
"Today we honor Montanans and Americans who bravely answered the call to duty. They courageously laid their lives on the line so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. They did so willingly and performed their service honorably.
"When facing danger, soldiers pledge to not leave their comrades behind. When those veterans return home, we must also pledge not to leave them behind. The sacrifices they laid on the altar of freedom demand that we do no less than give veterans all the support we can.
"Today, however, veterans' health care is in crisis. Earlier this year, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs acknowledged his department is over $1 billion short for 2005. In addition, the currentchair of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee has ended a 55 year tradition of allowing veterans' groups to make recommendations on the Veterans' Affairs budget. These groups include the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
"An estimated 500,000 veterans were homeless last year, but the Department of Veterans Affairs had the resources to help only one-fifth of them. Additionally, 50,000 veterans wait up to six months for an appointment at hospitals dedicated to serving them. It is unacceptable that our veteranswho fulfilled their promise to us when we callednow have to wait for the benefits and services we promised them.
"I ask you to remember today the sacrifices made by those who served in our country's uniform.
America must renew its commitment to our obligations, not only to the veterans who served, but also to their families. They deserve no less."
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT