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SOURCE:  Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

mcconell

Veterans Day

Of course there’s much more to be done. Veterans deserve the very best, and the V.A. crisis will not be resolved easily or quickly. But working together, there’s a lot we can do for the men and women who risk their all for their country.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding Veterans Day:

“Like many of my colleagues, I plan to commemorate Veteran’s Day with the people I’m honored to represent here in the Senate. I’ll join Kentuckians at a ceremony in Shelbyville’s Veteran’s Memorial Park.

“Hands will be put to heart as the Star Spangled Banner is played. Heads will bow in reverence as 106 names are read aloud.

“Each, a Kentuckian who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of others.

“Each, a reminder of our enduring debt to America’s men and women in uniform.

“I’m proud to represent the nearly 330,000 Kentuckians who’ve served in the Armed Forces. I’m also proud to represent the many thousands of soldiers and their families who reside in or hail from our great commonwealth — whether at Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, the Blue Grass Army Depot, or beyond.

“I recently had the chance to meet some of Kentucky’s brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who currently serve in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“Sadly, a NATO helicopter had just crashed in Kabul, killing five people, including two American servicemembers. I was honored to take part in a prayer service led by a chaplain from Lexington.

“What an incredibly humbling moment it was. The tragic crash, a stark reminder of the incredible danger our servicemen and women face every day — and a stark reminder of what all Americans owe them.

“Veterans should know that they have many champions fighting for them here in the Senate.

“One of them is Senator Isakson, the Chair of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

“Under his leadership, the committee has actively sought to do right by the men and women who never hesitate to do right by us. He’s sent important legislation to the Senate floor that we’ve been able to pass on a bipartisan basis — and that the President has signed into law.

“One law we passed would improve the Veterans Choice Program for instance, while another — the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act — would help reduce the tragedies that befall too many of our heroes and the heartbreak that befalls too many of their families.

“Important Veterans Affairs Committee oversight has also been brought to bear on an agency that’s lost the trust of many it serves: the V.A.

“Of course there’s much more to be done. Veterans deserve the very best, and the V.A. crisis will not be resolved easily or quickly. But working together, there’s a lot we can do for the men and women who risk their all for their country.”

SOURCE:  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Published on Nov 10, 2015

“Of course there’s much more to be done. Veterans deserve the very best, and the V.A. crisis will not be resolved easily or quickly. But working together, there’s a lot we can do for the men and women who risk their all for their country.”

SOURCE:  DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LEAD PHOTO

shot line

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Megan Smith, right, fires a shot line to the Military Sealift Command replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe from the guided missile-destroyer USS Fitzgerald during a replenishment in the East China Sea, Nov. 8, 2015. The Fitzgerald is on patrol in the 7th Fleet are of responsibility supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Smith is a gunner’s mate. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Dionne

Navy Seaman Kevin Carranza enjoys a slice of pizza while participating in Veterans Day events in New York City, Nov. 9, 2015. Carranza is a hospitalman apprentice assigned to the USS New York. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McNeal

Navy Seaman Kevin Carranza enjoys a slice of pizza while participating in Veterans Day events in New York City, Nov. 9, 2015. Carranza is a hospitalman apprentice assigned to the USS New York. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McNeal

SOURCE:  CONGRESSMAN THOMAS MASSIE

Massie-sponsored Provision to Expand Veterans’ Access to Healthcare and Employment Included in Transportation Bill

I sponsored a provision included in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act that would expand U.S. military veterans’ employment opportunities in the civilian workforce, particularly in the trucking industry. I have long supported this effort. Since learning about this issue from a constituent, my staff and I have worked with industry leaders to find a solution and have expressed our concerns with relevant

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie

federal agencies. In fact, I brought this issue to the attention of Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on February 11, 2015, and have been working on this issue for veterans since then.

The trucking industry has long been a source of employment for veterans and their families, but recent regulations make it difficult for them to receive the commercial drivers license (CDL) required for the job. In 2014, the Department of Transportation implemented regulations that required physical exams for CDLs to be conducted only by medical professionals on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). Unfortunately, only a fraction of otherwise qualified physicians have completed the costly and time-consuming certification process. The VA employs just fifteen physicians that are listed on the NRCME. This provision corrects this issue by allowing VA physicians in good standing with the agency to conduct the physical exam in accordance with NRCME standards, streamlining qualified veterans’ entry into the trucking industry.
One of my priorities is to make it easier for veterans to succeed after serving our country. This provision, while small, offers a simple fix that will help some veterans during their transition to the private sector. Those veterans who already work in the trucking industry, and receive their healthcare from the VA, will be able to save several hundreds of dollars in doctors fees over their careers by getting their CDL physicals at the VA.
I am also an original co-sponsor of the VETOPPS (Veterans’ Expanded Trucking Opportunities) Act, the standalone version of this provision, which was introduced by Representative Rob Woodall (R-GA).

It is an honor to represent Kentucky’s 4th congressional district and make sure your voice is heard in Washington.

Congressman Thomas Massie

 

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