Military Connection: New Congressional Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus
By Debbie Gregory.
In March, 2015, more than 30 Senators and Congressmen formed a new Congressional Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus.
There are currently 31 elected leaders in the House and the Senate who have served in the military since September 11, 2001. Of those 31, 26 of them were deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan. These men and women are coming together to address concerns, issues, and most importantly, solutions for the Veteran community.
Pennsylvania Congressman Scott Perry, a brigadier general in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and Hawaii’s Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbord, a captain in the Hawaii Army National Guard, will serve as co-chairpersons of the caucus.
“Taking care of our brothers and sisters in uniform who have selflessly served our country must be a priority for Congress,” Gabbard said.
Members of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus will focus on the lingering impact that these many years of war have had on Veterans and their families. These impacts have included unemployment, underemployment, homelessness, mental health concerns, a high suicide rate, and access to care and benefits. All of these issues have been compounded by events that include our nation’s struggling economy and the recent VA scandal. The new caucus was brought together in order to pool the members’ personal experiences as Veterans, as well as the shared stories of their comrades to keep the youngest generation of war Veterans, and their needs, in the public eye.
“In recent years, Congress has passed legislation to expand Veterans’ health care options, hold the VA more accountable and improve access to mental health services,” Perry said. “But we have much more work to do and I’m honored to join my colleague Congresswoman Gabbard to confront these challenges and do right by our Nation’s true heroes and their families.”
Many Veterans are hopeful that the formation of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus will help bridge the Veteran-civilian gap within Congress and among the public, and help to facilitate progress in combating the lasting impacts of war on our nation’s Veterans.
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Military Connection: New Congressional Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus: By Debbie Gregory