Tester unveils State of Veterans in Montana Report
Report provides transparency, pushes accountability for Montana veterans
(Missoula, Mont.) - Senator Jon Tester today released his "State of Veterans in Montana Report" to provide transparency and push for accountability in the VA.
"This report details wait times, demographics, and individual stories from real veterans across the state, as well as my solutions to the growing problems facing those who have served" Tester said. "It is clear that demand at the VA is growing. Vietnam veterans are aging and a new generation of service members has returned home after a dozen years of continuous war. We must remember that taking care of our veterans is a cost of war."
Tester, Montana's only member of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, released this report in order to highlight specific issues facing the over 100,000 veterans living in Montana.
He was joined by Montana National Guard Adjutant General Matthew Quinn, Director of the University of Montana's Veteran's Office Shawn Grove and Vietnam Veteran and former professor at the University of Montana Jess Munro.
Tester's report breaks Montana down into eight geographic regions based on his office locations and highlights the unique challenges that face veterans in every corner of Montana.
"According to this report, the number of veterans accessing VA facilities has gone up. But as a result of the increased demand, many wait times have also gone up," Tester said. "At a time when demand is increasing, we also know that recruiting medical professionals at the VA is a challenge. That combination makes it more and more difficult to deliver timely care. Difficult, but not impossible."
Tester has sponsored 37 bills in Congress this year on behalf of veterans. Many provisions of those bills have passed out of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee unanimously.
Just yesterday, the Senator's bill to fund the VA passed the Senate with Tester saying he would hold the VA accountable for every dollar spent to makes sure it's delivering results for veterans in Montana.
The report is available for all Montanans to read online.