BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 10 – U.S. Senate Veterans’ Affairs’ Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on Tuesday’s observance of Veterans Day:
“The truth is that we can never truly repay the debt that we owe to those men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country. Since World War II, more than 500,000 Americans have lost their lives in war. Millions more have come home wounded in body and spirit. As a nation, we have a moral obligation to provide for the wounded and their families and ensure that all veterans receive every benefit they have earned and deserve.
“As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am proud of the work that Congress has done in the last year to strengthen the VA and improve and expand the services and benefits available to our veterans. Homelessness among veterans has been significantly reduced, and the VA has made significant progress in cutting the waiting time for disability benefit claims. As a result of recent legislation that came out of the Veterans’ Committee, $16.5 billion has gone into the VA to make certain that all eligible veterans receive high-quality and timely health care. Much has been accomplished. More needs to be done.
“In Vermont on this Veterans Day, I want to express a special thanks to our state’s veterans and their families. Vermont service members have always responded to the call of duty and we are all proud of their service. We have made some significant progress in recent years in providing for the needs of our veterans. Two new VA clinics have been built in recent years in Newport and Brattleboro, and two older clinics in Rutland and Chittenden County have been replaced with new facilities. The medical center at White River Junction also has been significantly improved. In an effort to reduce homelessness among veterans, we now have facilities in Winooski, Bradford, Northfield and Rutland providing housing for veterans who might otherwise be homeless.
“November 11, Veterans Day, is the special day of the year that we honor our nation’s heroes. Our commitment to veterans, however, must extend to every day of the year. Together, we must do all that we can to ensure that all veterans in this country get the quality health care and other benefits which they deserve.”