The Commitment to our Veterans Starts at Home

As the daughter of a Korean War veteran, I grew up with a deep appreciation for our military men and women of all branches of our Nation’s Armed Services.

As the mother of an active duty Army Captain, I have seen firsthand the sacrifice of those who selflessly protect and serve our country each and every day.

And, as a Member of Congress, one of the most important things my staff and I do locally is communicate, assist and ensure our veterans get the care they so honorably deserve. From confirming a doctor’s appointment to helping them receive medals earned but never received, we drop everything when a veteran calls.

It has always been my strong belief that the very least we can do is show these brave men and women our deepest appreciation by providing them with the timely benefits and access to quality health care they have rightfully earned.

Despite assurances from VA Secretary McDonald that system-wide changes would occur, I continue to hear from Missouri veterans who are frustrated with the inefficient system, a lack of accountability, and a claims and appeals process that takes far too long.

This is why it was so important that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act.

This legislation takes the next steps vital to improving our Veterans Administration by granting the Department greater flexibility in removing employees based on poor performance or misconduct, while strengthening accountability and evaluation measures for all employees.

I’ve heard from countless veterans in Missouri’s Second District about the issues they face with the current appeals process. It is time the VA addresses the growing backlog of appeals so our heroes aren’t waiting years to receive a decision. The legislation we passed will help make the necessary reforms to fix this issue.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” I am so proud that House Republicans are taking the appropriate steps to improve the system and provide veterans the care they deserve.

Today and every day I hope that all the veterans in Missouri’s Second District and across the country know that we are as committed to our nation’s heroes as they have been to our country.

God bless our veterans and their families!