As a third-generation veteran, the responsibility our country has to those who have so bravely served it is something I take very seriously. That responsibility includes ensuring veterans have access to quality health care, good paying jobs, and educational opportunities to help them adjust to civilian life.
As the number of women veterans increases, it is imperative that Congress and the VA address the unique challenges our servicewomen face when they separate from the military. By founding the Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus, I am tackling the issues women confront head on and urging Congress to consider and enact policy that protects and elevates these brave women and honors what they have given to this country. For this valued portion of our community and their families, I championed legislation accepted into the National Defense Authorization Act that expanded the Women’s Health Transition Program pilot and supported expanding access to child care.
As the way we fight wars changes, so must the way we care for our veterans and the injuries they come home with. I proudly cosponsored H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which was signed into law. This law will ensure servicemembers who served on naval vessels off the coast of Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange have access to VA health services and benefits. I also cosponsored H.R. 663, the Burn Pits Accountability Act, which will support health assessments and care for veterans who have been exposed to burn pits or toxic chemicals.
Too many veterans also suffer silently with invisible wounds. To ensure our veterans also have the mental health resources they need, I worked closely with my Republican colleagues to write and pass the bipartisan IMPROVE Act, which directly grants funds to community organizations helping veterans dealing with mental health challenges. This was signed into law in October 2020 and will provide our veterans with access to better care and advanced research into mental health conditions.
As your representative in Congress, I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure veterans receive the benefits and care they deserve. If you or someone you know is struggling to receive their VA benefits or is having another issue with the VA, my team and I want to help. Please contact my Reading office at (610) 295-0815 or West Chester Office at (610) 883-5050, the Valley Creek Crisis Center at (610) 918-2100, or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1(800) 273-8255 and press 1.