HENRICO, V.A. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today joined Central Virginia veterans, servicemembers, and their families at community Veterans Day ceremonies in Amelia and Nottoway Counties.
During her remarks, Spanberger spoke about the need to recognize area veterans for their sacrifice by following through on our nation’s commitment to them when they first entered the service—including through improved access to health services, strengthened benefits, and expanded mental health resources.
“Central Virginia has a proud record of military service—and our veterans have consistently demonstrated courage, extraordinary valor, and a strong devotion to country. Today, we celebrate that tradition and recognize the sacrifices of our veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and their families,” said Spanberger. “Today is also an opportunity to redouble our efforts to provide our veterans with the care they’ve earned through their selfless service. There is no nobler calling than to serve in the defense of your fellow citizens, and we must commit ourselves to improving healthcare services, providing robust mental health resources, and protecting benefits for our fighting men and women. Our country is stronger thanks to their abiding commitment to the safety of our communities—and I’ll keep fighting in the House to support the Central Virginians who’ve put on the uniform.”
Since arriving in the U.S. House, Spanberger has worked to improve services and support for Central Virginia veterans, including by:
- Strengthening the fight to prevent veteran suicide. In September 2019, Spanberger cosponsored a bipartisan bill to improve mental health services at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and address the ongoing suicide crisis among American veterans. The Incorporating Measurements and Providing Resources for Outreach to Veterans Everywhere (IMPROVE) Well-Being for Veterans Act would enhance coordination and planning of veteran mental health services between the VA and the more than 50,000 organizations providing suicide prevention services for veterans—and the bill would develop measurement tools to track the effectiveness of these programs.
- Improving Central Virginia veterans’ access to emergency transportation and lowering veterans’ out-of-pocket costs. Spanberger helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would make ambulances more affordable for many veterans by allowing the VA to reimburse them for this emergency transportation.
- Helping homeless veterans return to and succeed in the workforce. Spanberger requested strong funding for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, and the House passed this provision as part of a bipartisan funding bill in June 2019. With this additional funding, more veterans would have access to job training, reintegration resources, and support for mental health issues related to their homelessness and unemployment.
- Passing bipartisan legislation to expand access to childcare for veterans and their families. In February 2019, Spanberger helped pass the Veterans Access to Child Care Act, which would make the VA’s childcare pilot program permanent and expand the program to offer a safe and cost-free option for childcare during VA medical appointments.
- Calling on the VA to address the needs of the growing women veteran population. In a March 2019 letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, Spanberger called on the VA to prioritize measures to improve treatment of women veterans at VA healthcare facilities. Additionally, the letter urged Wilkie to take necessary steps to prevent sexual harassment at VA facilities.