In her remarks, Klobuchar underscored the importance of honoring our nation’s fallen heroes by supporting today’s veterans and servicemembers
MINNEAPOLIS– On Monday, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke at the Rochester Veterans Day Program. The 19th annual celebration brought community members together to reflect on veterans’ service and sacrifices. Veterans and local residents enjoyed a breakfast, followed by a formal speaking program recognizing veterans and their contributions to the greater Rochester community and our country.
“Veterans Day is an important time to look back on the sacrifice that so many of you made,” Klobuchar said. “It’s our sacred duty to do right by all of you who have done so much for us. Their service has never wavered, our support for you must stay just as strong. There’s no limit to the respect you’ve earned, no cap to the honor you’re due, and no time when we won’t be in your debt.”
Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has worked across the aisle to modernize G.I. Bill benefits for our troops, strengthen funding for veterans’ health care and improve mental health care for our nation’s soldiers. She has also authored bipartisan bills on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families to expand job training and employment opportunities, cut red tape and wait times for veterans scheduling appointments at VA Medical Facilities, and reduce veterans’ homelessness.
In January, Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the bipartisan Veterans Access to Care Act, which would help improve veterans’ medical facilities by allowing facilities with a need for additional health care professionals to apply to be designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Once designated, these facilities would have access to the National Health Service Corps, which provides service-obligated scholarships and loan forgiveness to health professional students who pledge to practice in a HPSA for at least two years.
In September 2018, the Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act was signed into law and included Klobuchar and Senator Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) legislation to help servicemembers who have been effected by harmful burn pits. The Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act created a center of excellence within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better understand the health effects associated with burn pits and treat veterans who become sick after exposure.
And last year, Klobuchar and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) introduced the Department of Veterans Affairs Oversight Enhancement Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation to increase Congressional oversight of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in collaboration with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). She and Young also led a bipartisan letter urging the VA to give prompt consideration to the recommendations for improving veterans’ access to mental health services as noted in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which highlighted the substantial unmet need for mental health services for veterans who supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This month, Klobuchar led a letter to the United States Department of the Air Force and the Air Force Reserve Personnel Command (ARPC) expressing concern regarding delays in determining veterans’ military pensions and asking for immediate action to ensure that our retired servicemembers receive the benefits they have earned.