NEWS: Sanders Statement on Veterans Day

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 11 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former Chair and longtime member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding Veterans Day:

Today and every Veterans Day, we honor the service and sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans – our friends, family, and neighbors – who have put on the uniform to serve our country. Thank you to all the veterans and their families across Vermont and the nation for their bravery and sacrifice.

Today and every day, we must recommit ourselves to keeping America’s promise to our nation’s veterans, just as they kept their promise to us. I believe that if someone takes an oath to serve their country, to go off to war, to risk their life, or risk coming home wounded – in body or in spirit – then that government has a duty to make good on its commitment. That means making certain that veterans and their families get all the benefits they earned through their service on time and without delay. That means ensuring access to the best quality health care this country can provide by protecting and strengthening the Department of Veterans Affairs, and that means ensuring no veteran goes hungry or is forced to sleep on the streets.

As the former Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, I am proud to have worked closely with the VA here in Vermont to secure approvals for updating infrastructure at two Vermont VA locations, including a major renovation at the White River Junction Medical Center, providing veterans with greater access to care in modern medical facilities. In addition, last year, Congress passed the most comprehensive expansion of VA health benefits in years with the signing of the PACT Act, which provides millions of Vietnam, Gulf War, and Post 9/11 veterans exposed to toxic substances during their service with the health care and benefits they deserve. Since being signed into law, the VA has approved over 500,000 disability claims and has expanded health care to nearly 200,000 new veterans without disabilities under PACT Act authority.

Once again. Thanks to all our veterans and their families for what they do for our country.