2017-11-09 / Editorial

Moolenaar: Working for our veterans

By Congressman John Moolenaar

I believe our current and former service members deserve the utmost respect for their service and sacrifice for this great country of ours. Their dedication and commitment, along with that of their families, ensures our freedoms and should never be taken for granted.

I have been working hard in Congress on legislation that will support our veterans. Currently, I serve on the House Committee on Appropriations, and this year, the committee passed legislation providing the Department of Veterans Affairs with a recordlevel of funding. This funding will boost the VA’s efforts to address the backlog of pending disability claims made by more than 300,000 veterans. That this logjam is so large and takes so long to process is unacceptable. This new funding will expedite the claims process and allows the VA to serve our veterans more quickly.

Of course, this new funding must come with greater accountability. I consistently hear from veterans about the lack of oversight at the VA. That is why, this June, I supported legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump that delivers important reforms. The VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act ensures more accountability at the department and makes it easier to fire VA employees who fail our veterans.

Of course, we also want to help veterans who are leaving the service into civilian life with education and workforce training opportunities.

That is why I backed several improvements to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that will help veterans finish a college degree. I also supported legislation that encourages employers to hire more veterans into full time jobs. This includes a bill that makes it easier for veterans to continue serving our country, working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, protecting our borders and addressing a critical agent shortfall.

Finally, I am proud to represent the veterans of our district. This year, my office has helped hundreds of veterans who needed assistance receiving the benefits they earned from the VA. I have also helped veterans get medals from the Department of Defense. In fact, this year, I have had the honor of presenting the Purple Heart to three veterans in our community. These men were injured defending the freedoms we hold dear and it was a privilege to present them their Purple Heart in the presence of family and friends.

We celebrate Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation. As the Representative of Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District, I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to the brave men and women who have served our country honorably.

Congressman John Moolenaar represents Michigan’s Fourth Congressional District which is made up of Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Shiawassee and Wexford counties, and parts of Montcalm and Saginaw counties.

Those that need help receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs or medals earned from the Department of Defense, can contact Moolenaar’s office at (989) 631-2552 or visit moolenaar.house.

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