As the son of a World War II veteran, I know full-well that after asking our servicemembers to risk their lives to protect our country, we have the responsibility to ensure they have what they need to live healthy, happy and successful lives when they return home. I have been fighting to fulfill that responsibility ever since the people of Northeast Ohio sent me to Washington to represent them.
Through my position on the House Appropriations Committee, it is my honor to ensure the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) receives the funding it needs to provide support and assistance to our nation’s veterans and their families.
I’m pleased to report that as a result of that funding and other critical efforts, there’s been great progress for our veterans over the last several years including:
- Cutting veteran homelessness in half since 2010;
- Implementing universal suicide prevention screening at the VA; and
- Reducing prescription opioid use in patients at the VA health care system by 64%, from 679,000 veterans in 2012 to 247,000 in 2020.
While I applaud these successes, much more work remains to be done. That’s why I continue to focus on improving veteran mental health care services and reducing veteran suicides, increasing transparency at the VA, combatting veteran homelessness, and connecting veterans with the resources they need, whether that be assistance accessing their benefits or receiving training to help them open their own business.
Each time I walk into my Washington, D.C. office, I see my father’s Purple Heart. I keep it there as a reminder that the freedom and rights we enjoy every day are not free. They are paid for by the service and sacrifice of the courageous soldiers of our Armed Forces. We are forever indebted to the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend our nation, and I will forever remain committed to fighting for them.
Below you will find a list of additional successes for our veterans as well as actions I’ve taken on behalf of Ohio’s 774,000 veterans and their families. If you are a veteran or know of a veteran who needs assistance with services related to the VA, my office may be able to help resolve a problem or get you the information you need. Please feel free to call my Mentor District Office at (440) 352-3939 or email me here.