WASHINGTON, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) testified before the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs, identifying some of the biggest issues that wounded, ill, and injured service members face. Rene' Bardorf, senior vice president of government and community relations for WWP, called on Congress to continue its oversight efforts, and identified key areas where the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can strengthen its impact on millions of American veterans, their families, and caregivers.
"Our mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors," said Bardorf. "To this end, we also serve as the voice of our warriors in our nation's capital – providing advice and expertise to the legislative and executive branches of the federal government on the issues America's 20 million veterans care about most. We research their needs qualitatively though individual contact and quantitatively through the Wounded Warrior Project Annual Warrior Survey which represents the views of more than 33,0001 wounded, injured, and ill service members. Our most recent survey revealed several important trends that informed our 2019 legislative priorities."
In her testimony, Bardorf called on Congress to:
- Continue efforts to prevent veteran suicide and pursue postvention programming with family members
- Encourage and enable VA partnership with private and non-profit sector programs and services to assist veterans
- Embrace innovation in community care delivery and ensure timely payments to community-based providers
- Work with VSO's to oversee implementation of the VA MISSION Act
- Monitor expansion of the Caregiver Program with heightened attention to eligibility revocation and appeals
- Encourage all members to join and support the Congressional Burn Pit Caucus
- Hold hearings and commission studies on traumatic brain injury and toxic exposure
- Protect student veterans and their G.I. Bill benefits
- Reinstate Specially Adapted Housing grant eligibility every 10 years
- Aid DoD / VA collaborative efforts to increase efficiency, eliminated redundancy and improve health care outcomes
- Investigate and address the increasing gaps in prosthetic limb care preferences between VA and military treatment facilities
- Lift current limits on access to adaptive recreation equipment
"I would like to acknowledge the bipartisan and inclusive spirit that guides the work of Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees," said Bardorf. "We appreciate the hard work the 115th Congress did to expand educational benefits, modernize the appeals process, improve mental healthcare access, and improve our innovative approaches to community care. All Americans share a sacred obligation to ensure that our veterans and their families get the support and care they have earned and the success they deserve. We look forward to working with you and your fellow lawmakers in the weeks, months, and years ahead."
Since 2003, WWP has delivered $1.3 billion in programs and services to injured service members, veterans and their families at no cost to participants. In addition to the direct programs and services WWP provides wounded warriors and their families, WWP advocates on behalf of our nation's more than 20 million veterans of all generations – especially the 3.3 million post-9/11 veterans. To learn more about how WWP works with our nation's leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families, visit https://wwp.news/Newsroom. To read WWP's full written testimony, visit: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/media/183120/wwp-2019-legislative-priorities-testimony.pdf.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more: http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
1 2018 Wounded Warrior Project Annual Warrior Survey respondents.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project