There are more than 250,000 veterans in Connecticut – men and women who have selflessly served our country. As a daughter of a Navy veteran, one of the greatest honors I have is the opportunity to help those who have sacrificed so much serving our country.
Veterans deserve better than facing unnecessary delays to see a doctor, which is why I’ve voted to allow veterans to seek private medical care if their VA facility has a backlog and to more easily fire managers who were responsible for the culture of neglect. I also proudly introduced my own bill to support home caregivers of veterans and passed amendments to increase support for suicide prevention programs and the National Guard Yellow Ribbon reintegration program. To ensure that our veterans receive the care that they deserve, I’ve helped to recover $2.2 million in veterans benefits since taking office.
I am also strongly committed to the families of our veteran’s. Last October, my Gold Star Fathers Act was signed into law. This new law extends formal hiring preference for federal jobs to fathers of disabled and deceased veterans. Previously, only qualifying mothers, known as “Gold Star Mothers,” were given preference when applying for certain federal civil service jobs.
One of my proudest moments in Congress happened recently this year as the Gold Star Families Voices Act, which I coauthored, passed the House of Representatives. My conversations with people like Joe Nolan and Mary Kight of Waterbury, who both lost their sons in combat, motivated me to take leadership on this issue. This bill calls for documenting for history the sacrifices and life stories of fallen service members and their families.