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As a third-generation veteran, I take our nation’s responsibility to those who bravely served it very seriously. That responsibility includes ensuring veterans have access to quality health care, mental health care, good paying jobs, and educational opportunities to help them adjust to civilian life. 

That’s why, when I learned the Veteran’s Affairs Department had recommended closing the Coatesville Veterans Administration Center in Caln Township, I immediately took action to ensure the concerns of veterans within Southeastern Pennsylvania were heard. The Coatesville VA provides health care services to over 19,000 veterans in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and it has only become more essential throughout the pandemic. In March 2022, I led a bipartisan letter to the VA Secretary expressing the concerns that I, and other lawmakers from Southeastern PA, have with the recommendation to shutter this facility. Then, in May 2022, I hosted Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough to Coatesville VAMC to ensure our veterans’ concerns were witnessed first-hand. I am encouraged by Secretary McDonough’s commitment to caring for the needs of those who have served our country. I will continue to work with community members to ensure that our veterans have quality, accessible medical care. 

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 women and honors what they have given to this country. For them, I championed legislation accepted into the National Defense Authorization Act that expanded the Women’s Health Transition Program pilot and supported expanding access to childcare, as well as postpartum care for servicewomen. 

As the way we fight wars changes, so must the way we care for our veterans and the injuries they bring home. I proudly cosponsored H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which was signed into law by President Trump.  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 two bills aimed at expanding and improving access to health care for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits and other substances.  H.R. 3967, the Honoring our PACT Act and H.R. 6659, the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act, are both bipartisan bills seeking to expand eligibility for VA care to veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. I was glad to see Honoring our PACT Act become law in August 2022. Just as our veterans have kept their word to honor and protect our country, we must keep our word to honor and protect them, particularly after their time of service is done. 

I am keenly aware that many veterans also suffer with invisible wounds. To improve mental health resources for veterans, 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.