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
(West Columbia, SC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement after unveiling his 2015 Legislative Agenda at several press conferences across South Carolina’s Second Congressional District in West Columbia, Aiken, and Barnwell.
(Washington, DC) – Chairman Joe Wilson of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel issued the following statement upon the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.
(Washington, DC) - Chairman Joe Wilson (SC-02) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is stepping down.
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) issued the following statement after the House passed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, a bipartisan, bicameral agreement that begins to address the problems facing our veterans at the VA. This piece of legislation allows veterans to seek private care if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA facility, or are unable to get an appointment at a VA facility within 30 days. It also makes it easier to fire or demote senior VA managers who are not doing their jobs.
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement in response to Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson’s visit to Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia, and the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina.