By Michael Brewer – Special to The Alpine Mountaineer
The coming legislative priorities and policy initiatives for the Vietnam Veterans of America are as follows:
Assure full funding for the Defense of POW/MIA Accounting Agency so that 1,581 unaccounted-for American servicemembers from the Vietnam War and survivors can finally find some peace.
Address the issues of aging veterans in a VA system that lacks a clear and comprehensive roadmap to address their ongoing health care concerns.
Address problems faced by rural veterans who make up five million of the 20 million veterans in the U.S., 50 percent of whom are 65 and older impacted by a service-related condition.
Hold an oversight committee hearing on Toxic Exposure Research Act.
Amend P.L. 116-23 to extend the arbitrary 12 nautical mile limitation to include U.S Navy and Marine Corps veterans assigned to the Vietnam Theater of Combat Operations or who received a Vietnam Service Medal.
Address the failings of the Caregiver Support Program. Inequitable practices have led to unjust denials, discharges and downgrades of countless participants and applicants since 2016.
Provide funding for comprehensive and individualized assessments and rehabilitation and treatment programs using continuum-of- care concept for homeless veterans. This proposal would include the Orenda Veterans Project in Apple Valley that provides transitional housing for some of our mountain veterans.