Soon after I was sent to Congress, I made it a top priority to help the homeless Connecticut veterans living on our streets. I brought the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs to Connecticut to hear the heart-wrenching stories of our homeless veterans, and to urge the administration to help us tackle this problem. In the months and years that followed, I was able to bring back historic amounts of new funding for veterans’ housing, doubling the number of federal housing vouchers Connecticut receives for homeless veterans. Today, I’m proud to say that our state is leading the country in reducing veterans’ homelessness.
To me, it’s simple: the brave men and women of our armed forces serve our country selflessly and we have a responsibility to provide them with timely care and assistance the minute they come home. From affordable quality housing to better access to health care, our veterans deserve the absolute best resources available. I’ve supported and introduced legislation to improve VA medical facilities, expand access to traumatic brain injury and mental health treatment, increase employment opportunities for veterans entering civilian life, and cover the costs of veterans’ tuition. I have also been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to find ways to reduce the enormous VA claims backlog. It's unacceptable that veterans and their spouses have to wait hundreds of days to have claims processed and get the care they need.
I have been leading the fight in Congress to help veterans who have been discharged from the military due to PTSD or brain injuries received during their service. When I read a disturbing new investigation that revealed that thousands of veterans with PTSD had been pushed out of the military with less than an honorable discharge, often rendering them ineligible for the mental health services they so badly need, I led an effort to push the Department of Defense and the VA to change this policy, introducing the Honor Our Commitment Act, a bill that would ensure veterans with bad paper discharges have access to the mental health care they deserve. While the Army has committed to reviewing these discharges, there is still enormous work to do to make sure that veterans injured while serving their country get the treatment they need.
If you or someone you know is having difficulty getting the veterans’ services they need, my office is here to help. Click here to get connected with one of our caseworkers.
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