Congressman Brindisi’s plan — “Serving Upstate New York Veterans” — focuses on delivering results for Upstate New York veterans by improving veterans health care and access to care for rural New York veterans, increasing economic opportunity for veterans, and connecting veterans with the resources and support they need.
“One of our most important duties as Americans is taking care of those who bravely fought for our freedoms and way of life. Almost 50,000 men and women across New York’s 22nd congressional district answered the call to serve, and they deserve access to the best jobs, education, health care, and community services,” said Congressman Brindisi.
Congressman Brindisi held his first Veterans’ Advisory Council meeting on Tuesday in Cortland. The advisory council is made up of veterans service officers, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) members, family members and caregivers to veterans who help guide Congressman Brindisi’s work on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee and in Congress. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is known as one of the most bipartisan committees in Congress.
“Food insecurity among our veteran and active duty population is staggering. There have been many organizations and media outlets that have done stories on this issue to no avail with the Veterans Administration. I appreciate the opportunity to be a voice for our veterans with the Veterans Advisory Committee,” said Rich Synek, Founder and Executive Director, Feed Our Vets in Utica.
“One of the main goals of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 944 is to have a Veterans Cemetery in our region. We need this final resting place for our local veterans. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this and other important issues as part of the advisory committee,” said Thomas Buono, President, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 944 of Utica.
“My interests in this committee’s work is based on the past 10 years of helping and watching my son navigate the VA medical system. I am eager to contribute to the discussions and learn from others as a member of the committee,” said Kathleen Rinaldo, Board of Directors member, Veterans Outreach Center in Utica.
SERVING UPSTATE NEW YORK VETERANS
One of our most important duties as Americans is taking care of those who bravely fought for our freedoms and way of life. Almost 50,000 men and women across New York’s 22nd congressional district answered the call to serve, and they deserve access to the best jobs, education, health care, and community services. Congressman Brindisi serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, one of Congress’ most bipartisan committees, where he is working across the aisle to ensure Upstate New York veterans receive the care and benefits they have earned through their service.
IMPROVING VETERANS’ HEALTH CARE
The VA must be a center of excellence, prepared to provide our veterans with the very best care and able to treat the unique wounds of war. As a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee, Congressman Brindisi is working to ensure the VA hits that high standard and will hold them accountable if they fall short. Congressman Brindisi is also working to improve mental health programs and outreach efforts at the VA to reduce the rate of veteran suicide and ensure every veteran knows he or she has a place to turn for help.
CREATING OPPORTUNITY FOR UPSTATE NEW YORK VETERANS
Our servicemembers need our support when they wear our country’s uniform and as they transition to civilian life. Congressman Brindisi is working on the House Veterans’ Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee to ensure Upstate New York veterans have the tools and resources they need to get a college degree, complete an apprenticeship, start a small business, and more.
CONNECTING VETERANS WITH RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
Our veterans put everything on the line to serve our country, and we must ensure they have the resources and support they need when they return home. Congressman Brindisi supports legislation to extend disability compensation and health care eligibility to Blue Water Navy veterans and is working to ensure veterans and their families have access to safe, affordable housing. He’s also working to help combat the opioid epidemic among veterans and supports legislation to provide counseling, care, and support to veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system.
SUPPORTING RURAL VETERANS
Veterans should have access to quality care, no matter where they live. Congressman Brindisi is fighting to protect access to Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) and ensure local clinics have the resources to serve rural veterans at home in their communities. Congressman Brindisi recently passed an amendment to ensure rural veterans who receive care from CBOCs can access VA child care assistance.