June 20, 2017

Duckworth Reiterates Call for Expanded Veteran Support at Caregiver Panel on Capitol Hill


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator, combat Veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today called for expanded support for Veterans and military families during a panel discussion with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) caregivers. During the panel, Duckworth stressed the importance of ensuring VA caregivers - who are often family members of wounded and disabled Veterans themselves - have the resources they need to support our nation's heroes. A photo of the panel discussion is available here.

"I understand from personal experience that caregivers aren't just part of a Veteran's recovery support system, they often serve as essential healthcare providers," said Duckworth. "That means that if our caregivers don't have access to the resources they need to stay strong and healthy, their whole family may suffer - including the wounded Veterans they care for. The men and women who have worn the uniform of this great nation and risked life and limb to defend us deserve nothing but the best, and supporting our nation's caregivers is a key part of that promise. We must ensure that this program is expanded to include all severely injured and ill Veterans, regardless of when they served - not just the post-9/11 Veterans. I look forward to continuing my work to ensure our Veterans and their families have access to the care and support they have earned. The strength of our nation depends upon it."

After being wounded in combat, Duckworth devoted her life to serving her fellow Veterans and servicemembers. She served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, as the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington. As a Senator, Duckworth has introduced legislation to improve Veterans' access to preventive healthcare and has been a vocal critic of efforts to make Veterans healthcare more expensive and to end programs that are reducing Veteran homelessness. As a Congresswoman, she was supportive of previous efforts to reform VA like the Choice Act in 2014 and she coauthored the bipartisan Clay Hunt SAV Act, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously and was signed into law to improve mental health care services for Veterans and reduce Veteran suicide. She also introduced the bipartisan Troop Talent Act-large portions of which are now law-to help servicemembers transition to civilian life by making it easier for them to turn the skills they learned in the military into the credentials and licenses needed for similar civilian fields.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a nonprofit organization that provides essential support for more than 1 million veterans each year. DAV is also working to help ensure all Veteran caregivers have access to critical VA caregiver support services.