Veterans

August 29, 2014

President pledges support to veterans

Jim Garamone
DOD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON — The country is welcoming home a new wave of veterans, and Americans have a sacred trust to get them the benefits they earned, President Barack Obama said Aug. 26.
In a speech to the American Legion’s annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama said more than a million service members will return to civilian life in the coming years.

“We have to do more to uphold that sacred trust, not just this year and next year, but for decades to come,” he said.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has had problems. There is a backlog of cases, and an internal VA investigation has found some hospitals cooked the books on waitlists for veterans to receive care.

“We are gonna get to the bottom of these problems,” the president said. “We’re gonna fix what is wrong. We’re gonna do right by you, and we are gonna do right by your families. And that is a solemn pledge and commitment that I’m making to you here.”

Moving ahead
The administration is moving ahead with changes to the VA. Obama signed the Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act, which provides money to hire staff and allows veterans who live more than 40 miles from VA care to see doctors outside the VA.

Obama listed his priorities, underlying it all, Obama wants increased funding for the VA next fiscal year. He also will resist any effort “to exploit the recent problems at the VA to turn veterans’ health care into a voucher system,” he said. “We need to make the system work.

“We’ve got to deliver the care our newest veterans need most and that includes tailored care that treats our women veterans with respect and dignity,” he said. “It means doing even more to help veterans from all wars who are struggling with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. And we have to end this tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans.”

More awareness
Obama called for more awareness, more outreach and more access to mental health care.

“So long as any service member or veteran is suffering, or feels like they have nowhere to turn, or doesn’t get the support that they need, that means we haven’t done enough,” he said.

The president is using executive actions to expand this care. “We’re expanding suicide prevention training across the military and the VA, so colleagues and clinicians can spot the warning signs and encourage our troops and veterans to seek help,” he said. “We’re gonna make it easier for service members being treated for mental health conditions to continue their care as they transition to the VA, so automatically connecting them with the support they need, making sure they don’t lose access to any medications they may be taking.’

Another priority is for VA to reduce the backlog. “The good news is since its peak last year, we’ve worked with you to slash the backlog by more than 50 percent,” he said.

The government needs to attack the problem of homelessness among veterans, Obama said.

“Again, we’ve got good news to report,” he said. “Today, I can announce that working together over the last few years, we have been able to reduce the number of homeless veterans by one-third. And that means on any given night, there are 25,000 fewer veterans on the streets or in shelters.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

Red Flag 15-3 wraps up

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 69th Bomb Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, N.D., lands during Red Flag 15-3 at Nellis AFB, Nev., July 21. A typical Red Flag exercise in...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell

Ground testing for F-35 gun conducted at Edwards AFB

Lockheed Martin photograph by Darin Russell An F-35A Lightning II, tail number AF-2, fires a burst of rounds down range at the Edwards Gun Harmonizing Range on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., July 17. The F-35 Joint Strike Figh...
 
 

Separated but not alone

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “how am...
 

 

Mishap prevention 101

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Here is something I would like to share with my readers. This information is geared toward supervisors, but we all play a part in the mishap prevention program, and when we know better, we tend to do better. I will discuss a few things supervisors should do within their...
 
 
raptor

Raptor pilots reach 1,000 flight hours in F-22

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz Majs. Ethan Waitte and Thomas Borrego, 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron pilots, stand with Lt. Col. Matt Allen, 422nd TES F-22 Raptor test director, after returning from ...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen

Creech Airmen showcase RPA at Canadian airshow

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen Senior Airman Kaitlyne LaRocque, 432nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron MQ-1 Predator crew chief, left, and Staff Sgt. Craig Stewart, 432nd AMXS MQ-1 crew chief, prepare a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>