I am both humbled and inspired by the men and women of the United States military whose service and great sacrifice work to preserve freedom and ensure our national security. I believe we must honor their service by providing our soldiers the best medical care possible and securing their hard earned benefits upon returning home. Meeting this vital commitment to veterans here in the 7th Congressional District and across the country remains one of my highest priorities. I am concerned with a number of pressing issues facing veterans: modernizing the way veteran heath care is delivered and benefits are administered to boost access and efficiency; improving mental health, PTSD, and Traumatic Brain Injury, and Spinal Cord Injury care for soldiers and veterans; meeting the unique needs of the growing population of women veterans; and easing veterans transition to life at home by bolstering access to higher education and high quality jobs.
As your Representative I will prioritize the following key issues:
Construction of the new VA Medical Center in Aurora at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Located in Colorado’s 7th District, this facility will replace Denver’s aging VA Hospital with a new stand-alone, state of the art Medical Center that will provide a full range of medical, laboratory, research and counseling services, including care for spinal cord injuries, PTSD, and other disabilities. Construction is finally underway, and I am committed to the completion of this project which will provide quality comprehensive patient care to hundreds of thousands of veterans in the rocky mountain region, as well as thousands of good-paying jobs in our district.
For the most current information regarding the new VA Hospital in Aurora and also important updates about contracting and subcontracting opportunities, please visit the Project Eagle web site by clicking here.
Accelerate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs claims processing times. Ensuring timely access to benefits for veterans is a crucial national responsibility. Reducing the back-log of claims can be accomplished by hiring and training additional VA staff and transitioning to all-electronic records to increase efficiency.
Improving health care coverage for National Guard and Reserve military members and their families.
Supporting national, state and local efforts to address the needs of homeless veterans and their families.
Ensure full concurrent receipt of benefits for eligible military retirees who were disabled in service to our country.
Ensure adequate training, equipment and rest prior to deployment for troops who are sent into harm’s way.
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
For over a decade our nation has been at war in Afghanistan, and only in 2011 did we finally exit Iraq. These wars were an extraordinary undertaking, and I commend and thank all the men and women who served in those countries. We never should have been in Iraq, so I am pleased we successfully withdrew our forces and brought them home. Now, it is time to responsibly and strategically bring our troops home from Afghanistan. As long as US troops are in Afghanistan, they will be targets. We must continue to build the Afghan Security Forces, develop strong civil society, and gradually hand over full autonomy to Afghans by 2014.
One of the most serious responsibilities I have as a member of Congress is to ensure the national defense. To maintain our military dominance worldwide, I am committed to keeping US forces the most well-trained, well-equipped, well-paid military in the world. Colorado has a strong military presence which is highly integrated into our quality of life and our economy. So I work with military and civilian leaders in Colorado and the Pentagon to assess what our current and future threats are, and work with them to responsibly allocate the appropriate resources to meet those needs.
Air and Space
The Air Force is an essential part of our Colorado heritage. With several Air Forces bases in Colorado, I work to provide the resources and tools necessary for these airmen to achieve their mission. This includes investments in strategic space hardware and ground support systems which monitor the world and know instantly of any ballistic missile launches. It also involves providing the resources to help the Colorado National Guard patrol and protect our skies from unknown aerial threats. I also fight to ensure Colorado military bases have the resources to build and improve their facilities to maximize productivity and security.
The Greatest Generation -- Operation Detachment
The Wars We Fought
Front Line Stories of Colorado Veterans