Issue Position: Veterans and the Military
Our men and women in uniform have made significant sacrifices, and it is our duty as a nation to ensure that we look after them -- both at home and abroad -- to guarantee they receive the benefits they have earned. Caring for our returning veterans should be one of our nation's top priorities. That's why I spoke out on the issues with delayed and improper care at Veterans Administration (VA) health facilities that came to light last year. These problems at the VA are indefensible, and we must do a better job of upholding our promise to our veterans and ensuring they receive the care they deserve.
Thus, I was pleased when the House unanimously passed my amendment which would require a private, independent review of the VA's health care system. Such an independent investigation is needed to immediately find solutions that will provide better care for our veterans and wounded warriors.
Recently, I also was a proud supporter of the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for America's Veterans Act, a bill that seeks to curb the epidemic of veterans' suicides in our country. Every day, 22 veterans tragically take their own lives, many of whom suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This bipartisan bill will help increase access to mental health care for returning men and women in uniform and ensure we meet our obligations to those who have served our country.
Every day in Congress, I advocate for the release of Amir Hekmati, who continues to be unjustly held as a political prisoner in Iran. Amir, a Flint native and former U.S. Marine, went to Iran to visit his family in 2011 and was subsequently arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to death, accused of being a spy. He was later retried and sentenced to 10 years in prison -- a sentence he continues to serve today in Evin Prison.
I will continue to do everything I can to draw attention to his imprisonment and fight for his release. I speak with President Obama and Administration officials on a regular basis to continue to advocate for Amir to be reunited with his family in Michigan at every opportunity. I will not stop fighting for Amir's release until he is home with his family in Michigan.