Providing for our Veterans
Veterans’ issues are personal for me. My family is a service family. My husband is an Apache pilot and served for thirty years in the Army, retiring as a Colonel. My grandfather was awarded the Silver Star for his service at Normandy, during World War Two. My father-in-law served for twenty years in the Air Force, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Today, my two stepdaughters are both serving in their own right: one is an active duty Army officer and the other is a physician at a VA hospital. For me, providing world-class care and support to our nation’s veterans is not an abstract policy question – it affects my life and that of my family.
I believe that our veterans deserve our utmost respect and we must do more to ensure that returning veterans are given opportunities to successfully reintegrate, through more support for education, apprenticeship, and job training. In February 2020, I was proud to lead the introduction of the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act, which unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives with bipartisan support. This bill would create a program within the VA that supports non-profits that connect veterans with service dogs. Two organizations right here in the 8th district, Blue Star Service Dogs and Veteran Service Dogs, will directly benefit from this bill and are already doing this type of meaningful work. I believe it is critical that veterans have meaningful employment opportunities when they transition to civilian life, which is why I co-led the bipartisan Support for Veterans in Effective Apprenticeships Act, which will help expand the number of registered apprenticeship programs veterans can access with their GI benefits. Advocating for our veterans is a top priority for me, and I will continue to fight to ensure they have the support and resources that they have earned.