With the end of the war in Iraq and the continued withdrawal from Afghanistan, many veterans have returned home in need of assistance. We owe it to the men and women who have served in combat to provide them with quality care for injuries sustained in defense of this nation and provide the necessary support tools as they adjust back to civilian life. My father, as a combat veteran, taught me the importance of service and the personal struggles each veteran faces when returning home at the conclusion of their service. Though I believe significant financial changes are necessary to the federal budget, I have and will continue to support veterans and service members of this country. As a physician, it is particularly upsetting to me when I hear stories of bad experiences with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
These experiences represent a failure of one of the most basic obligations of the federal government – to provide for those who have worn the uniform and shouldered the burdens of war. VA attempts to continue addressing the unique sets of physical and mental health challenges veterans experience. Complicating these challenges, the persistent backlog in processing disability claims causes many veterans to lose faith in the VA system. I have worked with many of my colleagues in the Senate to provide solutions to the many bureaucratic barriers that have slowed veterans from accessing the support they need. If you need assistance with the VA, please do not hesitate to contact a caseworker at my Bowling Green, Ky., state office.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has a rich history of supporting the men and women serving in the Armed Forces. We consider all veterans and service members to be a part of our local communities and continually look for new ideas to help honor their service.