Veterans and Healthcare
Our Nation’s sacred obligation is to care for those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, especially those who were sent to combat. While healthcare services and benefits have improved for veterans over time, there are still many veterans fighting for the services and benefits they have earned.
As a combat Veteran, I was among the first units of Marines to enter Iraq at the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, I was also part of the first wave of combat veterans to return from war in Iraq. Since then, I have been a proud member of and advocate for the larger community of disabled veterans. I pursued employment in government agencies like AmeriCorps and the U.S. Small Business Administration, where I developed a keen understanding of the unmet needs of Veterans and military families, and the nonprofit, private and public sector programs available to provide services when and where they are needed. I know I have personally benefited from the advocacy and activism of veterans who have served before me and I am committed to fighting for the veterans who come after me.
As a Member of Congress, I will continue to focus on increasing and enhancing services for active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and military families that address employment, housing, financial management, healthcare, and earned benefits and entitlements. There is a large population of veterans in rural Texas-23 and I will be their champion in ensuring they receive the access to the VA healthcare services they deserve without having to drive hours away. I will work to prevent the privatization of the VA but I do support exploring the benefits of public-private partnerships where it makes sense to expand and improve the care of veterans living in rural areas.
Burn Pits are the Agent Orange of the Post-9/11 generation of veterans. The VA must recognize the serious health risks that are starting to appear related to burn pits. I personally lost a Marine Brother to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and will support legislation that requires the VA to identify potential military toxic exposures, conduct resultant contact tracing, and offer appropriate medical treatment. I will vote for bills like the “Honoring our PACT Act” and will support documented burn pit exposure to be granted “presumption of exposure” disability ratings.
I also recognize that climate change is the preeminent national security issue that will impact the military and the world and will support keeping the Department of Defense engaged as leaders in sustainable and renewable energy innovation. I have read and I support the Department of Defense’s Climate Action Plan and as a Member of Congress will ensure the plan is properly funded. These policies will promote better environments for our troops who are deployed across the world and protect them from the impacts of climate change and disruptions in military readiness, military installations, and military life.