"Vermonters have a long and proud tradition of military service, and our state has a history of contributing far in excess of its size to the defense of our nation. When a war is over and our brave veterans return home, it is our most solemn obligation to keep our promise and ensure they have the services and resources they require to succeed. I have long believed that the cost of the war must include the cost of caring for the warrior. That is why I have promoted policies that support veterans by modernizing and streamlining health care systems within the Veterans Administration, improving and expanding educational and workforce training programs for veterans, and supporting veteran-owned businesses."
Spotlight on Veterans
Rep. Welch has supported a number of bills in Congress to provide expanded benefits and services to our veterans and their family members. He was a proud cosponsor of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, which President Obama signed into law in February 2015. He has also cosponsored legislation to help put our veterans back to work, expand health care access for female veterans, provide child care assistance to eligible veterans, and expand eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs family caregiver program.
After learning of the success of the Vermont National Guard Outreach Program, Congressman Welch wrote to the President Obama and House appropriators requesting that they include funding for the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Programs of Outreach. The Vermont program goes beyond the federally funded Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program to train veterans as outreach officers to visit with returning Vermont Guard members and their families. The trained outreach staff members connect veterans, Guard members, and families with counseling for financial, marital, physical and mental health issues. The program also staffs a toll-free phone number (888-607-8773) that is answered by a live person 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Congressman Welch ensured there was language supportive of the program included in the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act for the outreach program.