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
Rep. Joe Wilson, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery at a hearing on Defense Health Agency.
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery at a hearing on Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services. Witness testimony can be found linked below and on the Committee Repository as prepared for delivery; the committee is no longer providing paper copies of witness testimony.
Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement after President Obama concluded his State of the Union address.
“As Americans tuned into the State of the Union address this evening, they were hopeful the President would provide reassurance that our economy is on its way to recovery. Tonight’s speech was anything but optimistic.
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon announces his retirement at the end of the 133th Congress.
“When I was elected to Congress in 2001, Chairman Buck McKeon was one of the first colleagues to offer his friendship and welcome me to Washington. For the past twelve years, I have had the privilege of serving alongside of him and under his leadership on the Education and the Workforce and the Armed Services Committees.
Rep. Joe Wilson (SC) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel, made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery at a hearing on Future Recruiting Challenges in the Fiscally Constrained Environment. Witness testimony can be found linked below and on the Committee Repository as prepared for delivery; the committee is no longer providing paper copies of witness testimony.