Peterson Op-Ed: Honoring our Veterans

Nov 5, 2014 Issues: Veterans

On November 11, I join Americans across the country to honor the dedication and sacrifice of our veterans and their families. Our veterans are continuing to return from service with pressing needs and I am committed to making sure they have timely access to the benefits they have earned.

Recent failings by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have exposed the challenges veterans can face when seeking care. While Congress has taken steps to address these issues, more can and should be done. I will continue to fight for meaningful and thoughtful reforms for all our veterans.

In recent years the number of women veterans has grown. Today, women constitute approximately 20 percent of new recruits and almost 280,000 women have served in the military since 9/11. I recently visited the Fargo VA hospital for a VA Women Veterans Appreciation Day event where I had the opportunity to hear first-hand from these brave women about the unique challenges they face when returning to civilian life. It is important that as this demographic grows Congress provide the Veterans Administration with the necessary tools to address care for women veterans.

Just as our troops vow to leave no one behind on the battlefield, it is our responsibility to leave no veteran behind when they come home. I will continue my work in Congress to serve our veterans as they have served us, making sure they have the support they need whether it is seeking health care, employment or housing assistance.

Our nation’s veterans have done everything asked of them with courage and excellence. I honor their service and thank all who serve.