I am grateful every day for the freedom and liberty that our great nation affords us all. This freedom would not exist without the brave men and women who have capably and proudly served our country both at home and abroad. Defending the United States’ interests is no easy task, and all Americans owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to those who have fought to maintain our nation’s position as a champion of democracy and “that shining city on a hill.” Throughout my time in Congress, I have never lost sight of those who have truly and humbly worked to defend our freedoms – our veterans.
I am no stranger to the hardships that military families face. My husband, Dexter, served in Vietnam as a U.S. Army Ranger, earning a Purple Heart. My step-son, Douglas, and his wife, Lindsay, served tours of duty as Marine Corps aviators in Iraq, with Lindsay serving in Afghanistan as well. I could not be prouder of them or their fellow veterans, and have the highest respect for the families who support them at home. My family and I know the courage and resolve that is required to dedicate one’s life to the service of others, and are thankful for their devotion to our nation.
My personal experience with the military and my deep gratitude for those who have fought for our cherished freedoms leads me to be committed to the cause of veterans everywhere, and I have worked tirelessly to serve them. I recognize that we can never repay our patriots in full for their contributions, but we must certainly try.
It is imperative that we keep in our hearts and minds all those who have fallen, and reflect in our actions our gratitude to all those who have sacrificed so much for our nation. As our brave men and women in uniform have fought for our rights, I will continue to fight for theirs. I urge all Americans to never forget the source of their security and liberty, as doing so would devalue the marvelous gift that servicemen and women have provided for us all.
A key part of our nation’s commitment to its veterans is providing them with quality healthcare, especially with respect to injuries they may have suffered in the line of duty. The VA Health System is failing our veterans. Unconscionable wait times, bureaucratic mismanagement and abuses, and top-down rationed care are well below the bare minimum standards we should expect for any American let alone for those brave men and women who have sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy. I am committed to holding those responsible accountable for the failings of the VA Health System and am fighting for the reforms that will provide our veterans with the healthcare they deserve.