Posted by Randy | April 21, 2015
Just a quick note – I wanted to share with you the story of an inspiring young man from the Fourth District who I met last week.
At only 18-years-old, Caleb holds down the home front with his three younger siblings while both parents are deployed. With the help of grandparents and family friends, Caleb juggles caring for his siblings with continued involvement in leadership roles, maintaining high academic standards, and completing his application to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Caleb is a Senior Patrol Leader in Boy Scouts of America as well as an Eagle Scout. He’s active in Air Force JROTC, achieving the highest rank authorized in the program, earning the Daedalian Award for patriotism, and being named Outstanding Cadet three times. Caleb is also involved in the Swim Team and Cross Country Track team at Kings Fork High School, where he’s been awarded the Co-Captain Varsity Award, Junior Varsity Award, and Sportsmanship Award. While accomplishing all of this, Caleb maintains a 4.21 GPA and pursues Advanced Placement Courses. If you ask Caleb what his goal for the future is, he will tell you he wants to serve his country as a Special Forces Officer.
I think, as parents, most of us have no happier moment than when we look into our child’s eyes and say, “I’m proud of you.”
For Caleb, that is not just something his parents can say. It is something his teachers, coaches, mentors, friends, and entire community can say. It is something his nation can say: We are grateful for your service, energized by your passion, and inspired by your example. Caleb, your country is proud of you.
Posted by Randy | April 21, 2015
Recently, I joined my Virginia colleagues in sending a letter to the Hampton Veterans Affairs Medical Center demanding decisive action to address the unacceptable claims backlog. Specifically, we are requesting to know the immediate steps being taken to bring down wait times to the Department’s standards – including a detailed explanation of what is being done to increase responsiveness to patient inquiries and the timetable for resolving the backlog.
As the Congressional delegation representing nearly 368,000 veterans, we have an obligation to ensure our men and women in uniform are receiving the benefits they have earned in a timely manner. Our veterans did not wait to answer the call of duty; they should not have to wait to receive timely, quality medical care. They deserve the best this country can offer – not backlogs, bureaucracy, and blunders.
There is no higher purpose of our government than to protect those who sacrificed to preserve our freedom. Read the text of the letter, here.
I will keep you posted as we look for a reply from the VA. We made a promise to care for our men and women in uniform, and their families, long after their service is complete, and it is our duty to meet those obligations.
Posted by Randy | April 07, 2015
Daily, we are surrounded by heroes. There are men and women in our neighborhoods, sitting next to us in our churches, coaching our children's soccer teams, and standing next to us at the gas station, who have made selfless commitments, faced harrowing situations, and borne the weariness of battle.
Posted by Randy | March 30, 2015
In case you haven’t heard the news yet, the Veterans Administration (VA) recently announced that in order to expand the number of veterans eligible under the Veterans Choice Program, they are changing the way the distance between a veteran’s residence and the nearest VA medical facility is calculated. (This is the program that allows eligible veterans to receive access to non-VA providers, to ensure they get the care they need and deserve). The VA will now be calculating the 40-mile rule by driving miles instead of “as the crow flies” miles – thanks to feedback from veterans, their families, and others.
This policy change will occur through a regulatory action that may take a number of weeks, but the good news is that the VA estimates this change will roughly double the number of veterans who will be eligible to participate in the Choice program. The VA published a FAQ sheet on the change here, and has said they will notify newly eligible veterans by mail.
Our servicemembers didn’t wait to answer the call of duty, and they should not have to wait to receive timely, quality medical care. I will continue working to ensure that is the case.
Posted by Randy | March 19, 2015
Real quick – wanted to be sure you had seen this good news. Recently, there was controversy at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia when a complaint was made over Airmen saying "have a blessed day” as part of their greeting to visitors at the security gate entrance. The phrase was not part of official protocol, but rather a traditional southern phrase offered voluntarily by the greeters.
After review, the Air Force reinforced that the phrase is perfectly acceptable under the new AFI 1-1 policy protecting religious freedom. You can read the Robins Air Force Base’s statement on their facebook page, here.
I will keep working to protect the ability of our men and women in uniform to exercise the very freedoms they are fighting for. To stay up to date on these issues, click here to like my Facebook page.
Posted by Randy | January 09, 2015
In 2015, I have no higher priority than continuing my fight to support our men and women in uniform, and to protect our national security. It’s not just a duty, it’s an honor.
Supporting our American heroes once they return home isn’t optional – it is this nation’s moral obligation. That’s why I’m pleased the House passed Hire More Heroes Act (H.R. 22) this week, with my support, and it’s now heading over to the Senate for consideration.
Posted by Randy | December 07, 2014
Posted by Randy | September 29, 2014
Recently, the House of Representatives considered The Jobs for America Act, which is a package of bills supporting job creation through streamlining regulations, encouraging the hiring of American veterans, and providing relief for small businesses from Obamacare.
Some of the bills included are The REINS Act, (H.R. 367), which ensures that Congress votes on all new major regulations before they are enforced on citizens and businesses; The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act, (H.R. 3086), which protects internet access for all Americans and fosters growth in the digital economy; and the America's Small Business Tax Relief Act, (H.R. 4457), which ensures small businesses have the certainty they need to grow their businesses and create jobs.
Government should be an enabler of economic growth, not a barrier.
Posted by Randy | August 28, 2014
I believe that Congress has an obligation to address our nation's fiscal challenges in a responsible fashion that does not harm seniors or future generations of Americans. I introduced legislation (H.R.3161) to ensure that money allocated to both the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds can only be used for the purpose for which they were intended. Medicare and Social Security need to be dependable and consistent for the seniors who rely on them.
We must fulfill the commitments we have made to our seniors – that after a lifetime of work and service to our communities, Social Security and Medicare will be there for them when they need it.
I will continue working to eliminate fraud in Medicare, oppose access to benefits for those here illegally, provide access to local pharmacies, ensure that healthcare decisions are made between patients and their doctors, instead of bureaucrats in Washington, and prioritize medical research to find cures for diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Posted by Randy | August 05, 2014
You and I both know: Our veterans are the real American idols. That’s why delays in access to care and wait lists are not only a systemic problem nationwide – they are a national disgrace. We can’t afford to lose focus on this issue. Here’s what I’m working on:
If you’d like to keep getting updates on this issue, sign up for my email updates and I will keep you in the loop.
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