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Issue Position: Support for Our Veterans

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Keith believes that our veterans deserve the best America can give them. During his first term in Congress, Keith has voted to meet the needs and improve the lives of Minnesota's veterans and their families. Keith has co-sponsored 32 different bills that work to provide our veterans and their families the support they need to achieve the same American Dream they've fought to protect.

Health Care

The primary cost of war is on the physical health of our soldiers. The miracles of modern medicine help more of our soldiers survive their injuries, but this higher survival rate translates into greater needs over longer periods. And not all injuries suffered by veterans are obvious immediately - health problems can show up years later. The veterans' bills Keith has supported in Congress make sure we're making good on our promises to our soldiers and their families. Keith has worked hard to

Increase Funding for Veteran's Health Care - Our veterans now get the same health care benefits our seniors receive under Medicare.

Close Health Care Loopholes - Keith supported and voted for a bill stop denying an entire class of veterans access to VA health care. Veterans of moderate income are being denied enrollment as a cost-cutting measure - they deserve the same benefits as anyone who has served this country.

Ensure Dignity During Recovery - Early in 2007, the press and patients' families exposed terrible conditions at US military medical facilities. Keith has supported more oversight and training for our veterans' caregivers, as well as more assistance for family members who provide veterans' care.

Mental Health

As we grow more aware of the psychological damage war causes our veterans and their families, we're obliged to help them fully recover. Keith has supported bills aimed at

Treating PTSD and Preventing Suicide - Keith pushed for increased care for soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and has voted to require the VA to work with other federal agencies to reduce the risk of soldiers' committing suicide.

Increasing Access to Mental Health Care - Keith supported creating a national suicide prevention hotline, focused on and staffed by veterans. He supported a bill designed to increase health care access for rural veterans, including paying for their greater transportation costs. Keith also co-sponsored two bills to increase health care access and options for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries.

Housing, Education, and Return to Civilian Life

Military service disrupts the family life, home, career, and communities of our veterans and their families. By connecting veterans to housing, educational, and community resources, we ensure that the sacrifice they make for us isn't permanent.

Housing - Keith cosponsored a bill that exempts veterans' basic military housing allowance from taxation, freeing up more money to take care of their families. Keith has supported expanding veterans' access to credit, making home ownership possible for more veterans. The same bill makes more credit available to community organizations that provide veterans' housing and assisted living.

Education - While veterans serve our country, the jobs that once paid their bills change, requiring new skills and more schooling. Bills Keith has co-sponsored provide resources for and extend access to the GI Bill, continuing education, and vocational rehabilitation for veterans. These opportunities make sure our soldiers and their families have access to the benefits of the society they help defend.

Returning to Civilian Life - Keith has supported bills that encourage the private sector to hire veterans, provide one-stop access to veterans' services, and to help communities help service members back into everyday life.


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