I am privileged to represent a diverse group of South Florida veterans, including veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other engagements in the Middle East. Many American veterans have voluntarily served our country in times of war. Some have returned with devastating injuries, while other bear invisible scars from the battlefields. After serving our country so valiantly, veterans and their families must be provided with quality health care as well as the most accessible and affordable support services.
I have consistently worked to ensure that those who have served this great nation be recognized, honored, and provided with the services they rightly deserve. Unfortunately, America's system of health care, education, housing and job placement benefits for veterans are under-funded and backlogged by red tape. We face an unacceptably high rate of suicide among the veteran population, and the need for mental health care continues to grow. Approximately 45,000 vacancies exist at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), contributing to the backlog in care and unnecessary delays. As Congress works to provide these benefits in a more clear and concise manner, it is critical that we ensure equitable access to compensation, healthcare, mental healthcare, rehabilitation, outreach and other VA benefits.
It was with great pride that I was able to help bring the Oakland Park VA medical clinic to Broward County. I have also been working throughout my tenure in Congress to improve the quality and availability of care at the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center (VAMC-WPB). This is a state-of-the-art facility, and I will continue to advocate for increasing the resources for this and other facilities like it.
Veterans History Project
I am extremely proud to participate in the Veterans History Project (VHP), run by the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. VHP’s mission is to keep the memory of veterans’ lives and combat experiences alive throughout the ages. It preserves, collects and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations will hear directly from veterans and thus have a better understanding of the realities of war. VHP relies on the help of volunteers to find veterans’ stories, collect belongings and record interviews.
If you would like to be part of this wonderful project by volunteering your time or for more information, please visit the Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/vets.