We want to serve the many who have served us proudly

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Washington, August 29, 2018 | Ben Williamson (202-225-6401) | comments

We want to serve the many who have served us proudly
Posted at 2:01 AM

When the call of duty came, they answered — and they did so with courage, valor and bravery. Now, as a nation, we have an obligation to return their service and provide them with the best care possible.

As a U.S. representative, serving our nation’s veterans is one of my highest priorities. It is my obligation — and it is a duty of our government — to help veterans have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their medical needs will be delivered professionally and effectively. Our military men and women have given much for our nation, and they deserve access to the best care available in both a timely and professional manner.

When I arrived in Washington in 2013, my office made an immediate priority of veterans’ services. Since then, we’ve undertaken a few specific initiatives to make sure veterans of the 11th Congressional District receive the best help possible.

We prioritize veterans’ casework requests so veterans and their families can see issues resolved as quickly as possible. We annually host a series of veterans’ seminars to help them get answers to questions. And we place an emphasis on sponsoring and supporting legislation that uniquely targets the needs of our district’s veterans.

Recently, those practices continued with our Fifth Annual Veterans’ Solutions Seminars — where we partnered with the Asheville VA hospital, the Winston-Salem Regional Benefit Office and the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs. These meetings are an opportunity for veterans to have a face to face, direct connection with VA representatives or benefits offices. In these meetings, veterans — many of whom have long experienced difficulties receiving benefits — can work personally with staff members who can get them on the path to a resolution quickly and efficiently.

We have also prioritized pro-veteran legislation in the House. I co-sponsor H.R. 3497, the Modernization of Medical Records Access for Veterans Act, and H.R. 4245, the Veterans’ Electronic Health Record Modernization Oversight Act, to help the VA modernize its medical records system, making the process easier for veterans to navigate.

I support H.R. 1206, the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act, which would help provide veterans with educational resources, such as covering application costs for universities and technical schools. H.R. 1152, the Care Veterans Deserve Act, allows veterans more choice so they can receive treatment at walk-in clinics without preauthorization or a co-payment.

The most significant legislation I supported was the VA Mission Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law in June. It was a major expansion of services and benefits for veterans. It streamlined veterans’ health care services, allowing them better access and more choices at a higher quality. Now, veterans and their doctors can choose for themselves the best option on where to get health care — whether in the VA or from one of the providers in the VA’s community care network.

Pre-9/11 veterans are now eligible for the VA’s comprehensive caregiver support program, providing eligible caregivers additional support services and a monthly stipend. Additionally, more veterans will be able to receive care from their own home with the bill’s expanded telehealth care program.

In many of these bills, my involvement came as the direct result of recommendations from veterans’ groups and individual service members in Western North Carolina. Your input matters.

In Congress, we’ve had more than two dozen veterans’ bills signed into law by President Trump this Congress. Congress has delivered many of the reforms we promised veterans, and we have done so in bicameral, bipartisan way. We’ve made great strides toward reforming VA health care.

We still have much work ahead of us. I believe, working together with President Trump and Secretary Robert Wilkie, we will achieve many more great things for our veterans before this Congress comes to a close.

As an office, serving veterans and their families is our highest obligation. It is a non-partisan, non-political issue — our mission is simply to serve those who have served us so faithfully. We are here to assist you in whatever way we can.

Mark Meadows represents North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

http://www.blueridgenow.com/opinion/20180829/we-want-to-serve-many-who-have-served-us-proudly

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Tags: Veterans

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