Marianas veterans are not forgotten

May 11, 2019
Marianas veterans are not forgotten

On Wednesday, the House Veterans Affairs Committee marked up a series of bills on veterans’ health, benefits, and economic opportunity. I offered amendments to three bills to be sure veterans in the Marianas and other insular areas are not forgotten. All were approved. H.R. 1812 extends Vet Center access to National Guardsmen mobilized for national disasters and to Reservists who participated in drug interdiction. My amendment to the bill mandates a plan to provide services in areas without a Vet Center. H.R. 2359directs a report on the accessibility and availability of providing services like acupuncture and massage at VA facilities. My amendment says the VA has to plan to make these treatments available in areas without VA facilities, like the Marianas. Lastly, H.R. 2372 requires an evaluation of the effectiveness of VA agreements with non-VA entities to provide suicide prevention and mental health services. My amendment to that bill ensures the evaluation includes care provided to veterans in U.S. outlying areas.