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
House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement regarding allegations of criminal behavior against a sexual assault prevention and response coordinator stationed at Fort Hood:
Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel issued the following statement after receiving the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military:
WHAT: In an effort to better connect the veterans living in South Carolina's Second Congressional District with the resources available to them, Congressman Joe Wilson will be hosting a Veterans Fair.
WHO: Congressman Joe Wilson, veterans' organizations, government agency representatives, local employers, and various other local organizations such as: Social Security Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, SC National Guard, etc.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 from 10am-2pm
The House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel held a hearing today on the Status of implementation of the requirements of the VOW Act and the recommendations of the Presidential Veteran Employment Initiative Task Force for the DOD Transition Assistance Program -Goals, Plans, and Success (GPS). Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC) made the following opening statement as prepared for delivery: Witness testimony can be found on the
The fiscal year 2014 defense budget that was recently submitted to Congress contains many of the same requests that we have seen in previous years. The President’s Administration has a history of continually cutting resources from the Department of Defense. Sadly, this year’s budget makes no exception. Cutting resources from our defense, which places our national security at risk, is not the way our military should be forced to proceed.