On Veterans Day, we come together as a Nation and pause to honor the heroic men and women who have placed service above self and answered the call to duty. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to these brave Americans and to their families who have sacrificed in so many ways.
Even more than our gratitude, we owe our Veterans the quality medical, psychological, and financial support that they deserve upon return from service. The effects of war are far reaching and life altering. Our young people who are returning from war in Iraq are not only dealing with physical injury, but in many cases they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and have a difficult time transitioning into civilian American life.
This week, I was ashamed to learn that veterans make up one in four homeless people in the US, though they are only 11% of the adult population [Associated Press]. Young Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are turning to shelters and clinics to receive treatment, housing, and help finding a job. Equally as disturbing is the fact that one in eight Veterans have no medical benefits whatsoever [Winston-Salem Journal editorial].
It is an outrage that this is happening in America. We must do a better job of providing Veterans with the medical attention they need in order to lead healthy lives (both mentally and physically) and the job assistance they need in order to provide for themselves and their families. In Congress, I will work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that we make our brave men and women as proud of their Veterans benefits as we are of their unselfish service to our Country.
Democratic candidate for Congress, 5th District