WOUNDED WARRIOR ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2007 -- (Extensions of Remarks - March 30, 2007)
* Mrs. WILSON of New Mexico. Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, H.R. 1538.
* This legislation will enhance the way the Department of Defense provides medical care for wounded warriors. Furthermore, the legislation will improve the transition of soldiers from the Department of Defense health care system to the Department of Veterans Affairs. An evaluation of care that our wounded men and women are receiving is requested in the legislation. I strongly support these provisions.
* The Wounded Warriors Assistance Act will help address and eliminate the red tape that veterans and soldiers get tangled in.
* My home district in Albuquerque is home to one of the premier VA hospitals in the country. They provide excellent care and support to our veterans. This legislation will improve the transition that New Mexico Service Members may face when leaving the Department of Defense medical system and returning to New Mexico to receive care at Albuquerque VA hospital. Specifically, the improvements will include a written transition plan specifying the schedule of milestones for transition of the member from the military service before the date of separation or retirement and set up a formal process for transmittal of records and other information to the Department of Veterans Affairs on or before the date of separation or retirement during a formal meeting. Furthermore, the legislation would require the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a single medical information system, which will be a significant improvement for our service members.
* I look forward to the findings of the many reports requested in the legislation. It will allow us as a body to evaluate these findings and implement improvements and initiatives that will continue to support our brave men and women. I am grateful to all who serve their nation and we as a Congress have a responsibility to ensure they receive the best possible care. In this war on terrorism, the greatest burdens have fallen on the shoulders of a relatively small number of Americans who have volunteered to take great risks on our behalf. Events over the last few years have made a new generation of Americans realize just how precious our freedoms really are. We owe our freedom fighters--past, present, and future--a debt of gratitude for their selflessness and sacrifice. I will continue to fight to ensure that our veterans get the benefits they were promised, the health care they deserve, and the recognition that our nation owes them.