Senator Sullivan Recognizes Alaska’s Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, released the following video message recognizing and thanking veterans for their sacrifice and service to the United States of America.
Senator Sullivan Continues to Fight for Veterans:
“When we talk about service to our country, Alaska is at the forefront of that conversation,”said Senator Sullivan. “Our great state boasts more veterans per capita than any other state in the country. And all over the state, I see how much our communities support our military and our veterans. It is one of my top priorities to ensure that veterans – in Alaska and across the country – have access to the benefits that they earned, and deserve. I’m incredibly honored to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on legislation that advances the interests of our nation’s veterans.”
Senator Sullivan’s legislative efforts in support of veterans during the 116th Congress:
Creig Sharp Funeral Honors for Veterans Act: Inspired by Palmer resident Kathryn Sharp and her husband Creig Sharp, Navy Chief Petty Officer (Ret.), this legislation requires military installations to develop a plan to utilize both on-base and off-base resources for funeral ceremonies for veterans, even when government resources may not be available.
Medal of Honor Surviving Spouses Recognition Act: Inspired by Wasilla Vietnam veteran Dave Glenn, this legislation would extend the Medal of Honor (MOH) special pension to the surviving spouses of certain MOH recipients.
Veterans Preference Parity Act: Legislation that would reform outdated federal hiring rules to allow all retired service members and a greater number of National Guard and Reservists to qualify for veterans’ preference.
Veterans Member Business Loan Act: Legislation that would exclude business loans made to veterans from the statutory credit union member business loan cap. This will offer greater economic opportunities for veterans and will encourage veteran entrepreneurship across the country.
Support for Suicide Prevention Act: Legislation requiring the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct an assessment of the responsibilities, workload, and vacancy rates of the VA’s Suicide Prevention Coordinators, and ensure that these men and women have the tools and resources they need to provide veterans with critical mental health resources.
VA-DoD Shared Medical Facilities Act: Legislation to enhance collaboration and resource sharing between the VA and the Department of Defense (DoD), as well as other federal health care providers, furthering the access, continuity, and cost effectiveness of direct health care provided to veterans, service members, and their beneficiaries.
Highly Rural Veteran Transportation Program Extension Act: Legislation that extends the Highly Rural Veteran Transportation Program and allows the State Veterans Service Agencies and Veteran Service Organizations to continue to provide no-cost transportation services to VA or VA-authorized health care facilities to highly rural veterans.
Veteran Overmedication and Suicide Prevention Act: Legislation that directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to review veteran deaths by suicide by requiring the VA to work with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study the link between addictive opioids and the alarmingly high rate of suicide among veterans.
Additional Legislative Victories for Veterans:
VA MISSION Act: Legislation to replace the Veterans Choice Program and streamline and strengthen VA community care programs to ensure veterans receive efficient, timely and quality care, signed by President Trump in June 2018. Additionally, the legislation expands eligibility for the VA’s Family Caregiver Program to veterans of all generations. Senator Sullivan’s amendments require the VA to cover a veteran’s care from community providers if the VA doesn’t operate a full-service facility in the state, like Alaska; require the VA to reimburse community providers at rates that could account for states with higher costs of care, like Alaska; and preserve Tribal Sharing Agreements, allowing veterans to access care in their community from Alaska Native tribal health providers. The legislation was signed into law by President Trump in December 2018.
Veterans Affairs Accountability Act: Legislation increasing the VA’s authority to remove employees at all levels who are ill-serving veterans. The bill also has safeguards for whistleblowers, and requires the VA to report on employee morale and the effectiveness of these new reforms. The legislation was signed into law by President Trump in June 2017.
Forever G.I. Bill: Legislation eliminating the 15-year G.I. Bill expiration date to use benefits. The bill makes updates to expand eligibility for reservists, Purple Heart recipients, veterans who faced school closures, and surviving family members. The legislation was signed into law by President Trump in August 2017.
Native Veterans Land Allotment Equity Act: Legislation that allows several thousand Alaska Native veterans who served during the Vietnam era to apply for their congressionally-promised Native land allotment after missing their initial opportunity due to their service. A version of Senator Sullivan’s act was included in a larger land and resource bill, signed by President Trump in March 2019.
Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act: Legislation to create a pilot program to modernize the outdated benefits claims appeals process at the VA and help veterans receive more timely decisions. The legislation was signed into law by President Trump in August 2017.
Senator Sullivan also serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support. He is a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, serving with the Marine Corps Special Operations Command.
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