I joined the Marine Corps Reserves to give back to our country. Our veterans and their families face more challenges today than ever before after they return home from their service. In Congress, I will work to honor their service by tackling those challenges head on and make sure they receive the support they need. It’s time to step up for veterans the way they stepped up for us.
The stories I have heard of our veterans not getting adequate or timely service from the VA are completely unacceptable. From accessible health care to job opportunities to financial aid for continuing education, we are falling short in our commitment to those who serve. We also need to take care of our most vulnerable veterans, and I will fight to expand funding for Central Coast community-based programs targeted at aiding homeless veterans get off the streets.
This will mean expanding services for crucial programs to reintegrate veterans into the workforce with resources like job training and housing assistance. Deployed veterans have a 41% higher suicide risk compared to the general population and mental health services must be available when our veterans need them. We must implement more programs to ensure that those veterans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other trauma can get the care they need.
There are currently over 40,000 veterans living in the 24th District with almost 4,000 more serving on active military duty. Whether its reducing VA wait times, increasing accountability and transparency, improving care or helping returning troops transition back into the civilian world, I will honor their service with action to improve the lives of veterans on the Central Coast and across our nation.