Tester Asks for Veterans Service Organizations’ Help to Hold VA Accountable to Veterans, Families

Senator Hears Legislative Priorities from AMVETS, PVA, VVA, IAVA, SVA, AXPOW, WWP

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Jon Tester met with some of the nation’s leading Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) to hear their legislative priorities.

Tester asked the organizations, who represent hundreds of thousands of veterans across the country, to tell Congress if the VA is doing enough to address the high rate of veteran suicide, provide justice to Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans, provide equitable care for women veterans, and ensure veterans have access to the high quality health care and benefits they earned.

“We take our directions from you,” said Tester. “You represent veterans across this country, in urban and rural areas. You know the challenges that are out there. We need to listen to you just like the VA needs to listen to you – whether it’s on Agent Orange, burn pits, women veterans, or mental health care.”

Five of the seven organizations presenting their legislative priorities today endorsed Tester’s VA MISSION Act, which overhauled the VA’s health and community care system. Now, Tester is asking them for their perspective on the VA’s rollout of the new community health care system and expansion of the VA Caregiver Support Program.

The seven organizations presenting their 2019 legislative priorities to Congress include:

  • Regis Riley, National Commander of AMVETS
  • David Zurfluh, National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America
  • John Rowan, National President and CEO of Vietnam Veterans of America
  • Jeremy Butler, Chief Executive Officer of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
  • Jared Lyon, National President and CEO of Student Veterans of America
  • Charles Susino, National Director and Legislative Officer of American Ex-Prisoners of War
  • Rene C. Bardorf, Senior Vice President for Government and Community Relations of Wounded Warrior Project

The hearing is the fourth of five joint Senate and House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearings to hear the legislative priorities of the nation’s leading Veterans Service Organizations. More information about the hearing can be found online HERE. More information about the other four hearings can be found online HERE.