Letter to the Editor: Failing to support veterans

To the Editor:

Memorial Day celebrations honoring our fallen soldiers and our veterans have occurred throughout Iowa. I had hoped that their sacrifices and service would be valued by my U.S. Representative.  However, when it came time to vote on two important bills which  help veterans, our First District U.S. Representative voted no. What a gut-punch to veterans.

Fortunately, the EVEST Act is now law in spite of our U.S. Representative’s no vote, and soon, Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 will also become law.

The EVEST ACT (Ensuring Veterans’ Smooth Transition Act) automatically enrolls veterans into the VA healthcare system when their active duty ends. This bill eliminates red tape, the waiting period for approval and any gap in veterans having their health care needs met. Honoring our PACT Act of 2022 helps the soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who were exposed to toxins and airborne hazards from burn pits (it was common practice for the U.S. military to dispose of any and all waste by burning it). Exposed soldiers are now dealing with  cancers, lung diseases, and countless chronic, disabling health problems. As veterans, they will automatically qualify for VA health care and disability benefits and the VA’s review process will be streamlined.

Our U.S. Representative claims to advocate for veterans, but saying it does not make it true. No votes on important veterans’ bills reveal the truth. In the 2022 election, it is vital that we support candidates who are trustworthy and truly on the side of veterans.

Karen Pratte