Taking Care of Our Veterans: A Promise Which, If Elected, I Plan to Keep
"We see these men and know them once again -- and know how much we owe them, how much they've given us, and how much we can never fully repay. And not just as individuals but as a nation, we say we love you." Those were the words spoken by Ronald Reagan as he delivered a speech at the Vietnam Memorial on V-Day in 1988.
How true the words of President Reagan ring when he says that it is impossible for us to ever fully repay those men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms but that does not mean we should not try has hard as we possibly can to give them everything they are worthy of, after sacrificing so much for us. Our words, no matter how genuine, are not enough. We must provide our troops currently serving and already home the care and benefits they deserve, they need, and they have been promised. That is why today I am proposing a 7 Point Plan for Veterans in order to ensure that we provide them with as much care and assistance as possible.
First, if elected back to Congress in November, I will introduce legislation calling for the POW/MIA Designation to be reinstated for our troops. Currently their status is listed as: Missing-Captured Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown, but it is only the POW/MIA Designation that is recognized by the Geneva Convention. We must reinstate POW/MIA Designation here on the home front. Use of the POW/MIA Designation is a matter of faith and trust for those serving our nation, and their families.
Second, I will work to establish a Full Service VA Hospital for my home state of New Hampshire. We are currently the only state in the Union without a full service Veterans Hospital; with over 130,000 veterans living in our state, this is unacceptable.
I will also introduce legislation to create a Veterans Health Care ID Card so our veterans can receive emergency care at any hospital around the nation when they need it.
During my last tenure in Congress, I worked to pass historic legislation that allowed military retirees to collect both earned retirement pay and disability compensation for injuries that occurred as a result of military service. As a result of legislation I worked to pass, retirees with a 50% or greater disability now receive both disability and retirement benefits. When I return to Congress, I will make it a top priority to finish the job and allow for military retirees to receive full retirement benefits and compensation for all disabilities that occur as a result of military service.
Another issue I plan hard to work for in Congress is expanding the amount of Veterans Outpatient Clinics available.. No veteran should have to travel more than an hour to receive routine care.
More and more of our brave men and women return home from the battlefield with different ailments then we have seen in the past. A top priority of mine will be to insure that veterans who have served our nation receive the health care they have earned - and as I have done in the past, I will fight for the necessary funding.
Finally, I promise to never compromise when it comes to supporting our troops. We owe it to the soldiers, the families of those serving, and the veterans of our nation's armed services to fully fund and support our troops serving in harm's way. We must make sure they have the most up-to-date technology in order to make sure they are safe, protected, and return home victoriously. In Congress, I will not back down even an inch when fighting for the full funding and support of our troops.
To those of you who have so bravely served this country: you have given us the greatest promise and you have kept it. I promise to fight to make sure the promises kept to you are honored and that you and your service are never forgotten.