Taking care of veterans – A must

Few jobs if any jobs contribute more to our safety as a nation than service in the military. Literally, our troops protect our lives and all we hold dear.

In return, our country must maintain for every veteran an ongoing commitment to their health care. Our VA system has a long way to go, and the VA must adapt quickly to modernize itself and meet the needs of a new generation of veterans while keeping its promise to care for our more elderly veterans.

Every year about 150,000 service members separate from the Armed Services. Currently, more than 55,000 veterans currently call the 23rd District of Texas home.  Thus, serving the veterans community is a top priority of mine.

Having visited our troops overseas, I have tremendous respect and gratitude for our veterans. Our veterans have, with great resolve, protected the tranquility and vital interests of our great nation – and done so at considerable sacrifice to themselves and their families. We must not fail them when it is our turn to serve them.

 We still have a significant way to go before we’re meeting our health care commitment to veterans. However, there is significant progress.  Many resources are now available online. Current health programs can be found at www.va.gov/health. There, you can find and apply for benefits as well as learn what benefits are currently available – all from the comfort of your own home.  eBenefits, https://www.ebenefits.va.gov, is a portal and central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and manage their benefits and personal information.

Our office is also working on legislation that will bring health care to veterans living in rural areas and to provide the VA the necessary resources to modernize by transitioning to electronic medical records – something the military already does. Our men and women deserve the very best care our country can offer.

Navigating the red tape of the VA can be a painful process. If you have questions or need help, please call us. Our team of dedicated caseworkers stands ready to assist constituents of 23rd District of Texas. The telephone number in San Antonio is (210) 927-4592; for the Eagle Pass offices dial (830) 488-6600 and in the El Paso area call (915) 872-1066. You can also send me an e-mail by visiting www.gallego.house.gov.  Know we are here to help – and that I will continue to work with both parties to meet our commitments to the veterans of Texas.

 U.S. Representative Pete P. Gallego represents the 23rd District of Texas, which includes all or parts of 29 counties in southwest Texas, stretching from San Antonio to El Paso. He serves on the House Armed Services and House Agriculture Committees.