Over the past decade, our Nation has been engaged in contingencies all over the world; most notably, Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Frequent deployments and training has put a significant strain on our brave men and women in uniform, veterans and their families. As the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs rebalances and works to build efficiencies, we must ensure that we care for those who dedicated their lives to protect our freedom.
Our veterans should have the finest healthcare our nation has to offer. However, well-documented cases reveal that our VA system has failed to provide the level of care our veterans deserve and the American people expect. To help guide the Veteran’s Health Administration into the right direction, I cosponsored H.R. 4810, which passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 426 to 0. If enacted, this measure will allow a veteran to seek medical care at a non-VA facility if the wait time for an appointment exceeds the goal or if they reside more than 40 miles from a VA facility. We need to ensure that those of us in Congress, tasked with the duty of oversight, practice our due diligence and keep our Nation's veteran hospitals in line with the highest standards.
Likewise, the Obama Administration’s attempt to cripple the TRICARE benefit system threatens the health care of our active duty, retirees and their families. As a member on the House Armed Services Committee, I worked with the Chairman Buck McKeon to fight against these attacks, which would unfairly increase enrollment fees and introduce Military Treatment Facility fees.
Additionally, other benefits like decreases in pay and allowances, use of the Commissary, and removal of quality of life programs have also come under fire by the Administration. These programs are critical to the morale and welfare of our troops and help to increase wellness and family readiness.
Brave men and women volunteer to serve in the military because they believe in America and her freedoms. They deserve, and we owe them, the highest level of respect and gratitude. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, I am committed to protecting and advocating for our active duty, retirees, veterans, and their families and proud to serve those who have sacrificed so much.
More on Our Veterans
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, issued the following statement after the House Armed Services Committee completed the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. This legislation would fund our military and vital national security initiatives.
Yesterday, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) honored Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) by establishing the Representative Joe Wilson United States House of Representatives Senior Grant. This scholarship, managed by MOAA, will be awarded to a distinguished student entering his or her senior year.
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement on Chairman Jeff Miller’s decision not to seek re-election:
“After hearing Veterans Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (FL- 01)’s announcement that he plans to retire from Congress this year, I want to recognize and honor his tireless dedication for veterans and military families. I will always cherish being his seatmate on the Armed Services Committee where he was a champion for a strong military to achieve peace through strength. Roxanne and I will forever treasure Vicki and Jeff as friends.”
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) will hold two Veterans Fairs in March, one in the Aiken-Barnwell area and one in the Midlands, to bring potential employers and federal agencies in direct contact with veterans. Wilson is committed to serving our nation’s heroes:
“I am grateful to serve so many service members, military families, and veterans who call the Second Congressional District home,” Wilson said. “In 2013, I started holding these events to help veterans find jobs and receive assistance in transitioning from military to civilian life.”
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement this evening after President Obama concluded his State of the Union address: