Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday was given the Veterans of Foreign Wars prestigious Congressional Award. At a ceremony in the Senate’s Kennedy Caucus Room, Sanders said he was “extremely honored” by the award presented for his eight years of service on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, including his time as the panel’s chairman during the last session of Congress. He remains a senior member of the committee.
VFW National Commander John Stroud noted that Sanders played a leading role in winning passage last year of major legislation to improve health care services at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The nation’s largest service organization of combat veterans said Sanders “has been a commanding voice” fighting to preserve benefits for disabled veterans, for the proper care and treatment of women veterans, homeless veterans, for better employment opportunities and improved access to mental health programs. The VFW also lauded Sanders for increased congressional oversight that resulted in improved claims processing by the VA.
“It is no understatement to say that Sen. Sanders has taken care of wounded, ill and injured veterans and their surviving family members,” said the VFW’s Stroud. “When the VA imploded last year, he was the lead negotiator for the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, which the president signed into law last summer,” he added.
“The VA still has an uphill climb to fix what’s broken, to hold employees appropriately accountable, and to restore the faith of veterans in their VA, but veterans everywhere should be proud and comforted to know that this United States senator has their back in Congress.”