By William Lien

Many folks are ready to shake a Veteran’s hand thanking them for their service this weekend. But how are congressional officials, people helping and honoring Veterans?

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), is pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs billing accountability Act. This legislation would help address veterans receiving outdated and incorrect billing statements from V.A.

“In the fiscal year of 2022 alone, the VA reported that there were billions of dollars in improper payments,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “When bureaucratic errors happened, they hurt Veterans, the very people who we are trying to help.”

Also some Veterans even reporting getting medical bills years after they received care. However, this new bipartisan legislation is looking at waiving Veterans’ copayment requirements for medication, or services received more than 180 days after receiving care.

“Right now, they’re required by law to make the co-pay requirements. And our bill would allow them to get rid of it. If a mistake happens, if they’re billed after six months, because our Vets shouldn’t pay the price for someone else’s mistake.”

This legislation could serve to relieve one of the many stresses veterans can face in civilian life, a needed relief for many.

One of the stresses many Veterans face everyday is PTSD and other mental health concerns. Raymond Singson, a Veteran who served in the Marines from 2011-2014, says organizations like 23rd Veteran can help Vets.

“Back in 2012, there was a study done that revealed that more than 22 Veterans take their own lives every single day. So we’ve lost more people to veterans suicide than we have to actual combat overseas, which is tragic,” Singson said. “The 23rd Veteran represents the next closest thing to helping a person who’s kind of seen that darkness but navigated it and chose make it, made a deliberate choice to keep on moving, keep on living, keep on fighting and thriving.”

Singson said 23rd Veteran’s Recon program can help vets struggling with a 14-week program. The non-profit organization will cover the cost of all community events, airline travel, and gym memberships.

“We’ve been at war for the last 20 years. I think it’s easy for a lot of people to see veterans come back from that experience and feel like they need our help. They need our support,” Singson said. “But I think 23rd Veteran sees the other side of that conversation. We believe that our veterans can become better parents, partners and leaders within society because of that experience instead of in spite of it. We believe that all veterans can make it to the other side of that darkness.”

Here are several organizations who are helping & honoring veterans in the Northland:

23rd Veteran

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

Wounded Warriors United-Minnesota

Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota

Honor Flight Northland

Also for other stories about Veterans you can read more here.