Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement to commemorate Memorial Day, which is observed May 27, 2013:
"Memorial Day serves as a time to honor the generations of brave American men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice and to remember those who have served our country around the world. These heroes represent the best in America, and Memorial Day is an opportunity to offer them our deepest thanks.
"Congress must remain committed to supporting our veterans, troops and the families of those who have fallen. More than 440 thousand veterans call New Jersey home, and more than 1,300 troops from our state are currently deployed. The best way to honor them is to make sure that service members and their families have the tools they need when they come back home.
"Sadly, the there is currently a massive backlog of veterans' disability and medical claims with the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA). Approximately 878,000 disability claims are pending nationally, with nearly 600,000 backlogged that have been pending for more than 125 days. These delays are wrong and deserve immediate attention.
"As a result of the VA's claims backlog, hundreds of thousands of service members are being told to wait for the critical services they need to get back on their feet after their service to our nation. The VA's backlog weighs on the conscience of our country, and action is needed now to speed up this process and ensure all of our veterans receive the benefits they deserve.
"On this Memorial Day and each day until the next, let us remember those we have lost and honor their memory by recommitting ourselves to the support of our veterans and our troops who continue to fight around the world keeping our country safe and preserving our freedoms."