Military & Veterans News
Statements on the Resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Various   
Monday, 02 June 2014 10:50

Loebsack Statement on the Resignation of VA Secretary Shinseki


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned.

“As a military parent, I have been outraged by what has come to light at VA health centers across the nation. I appreciate Secretary Shinseki’s prior service to our nation, but believe that his resignation is the only way for the Agency to start fresh and ensure our veterans receive the timely access to health care they deserve. It is now time to move forward and focus on how we as a nation provide the best health care for those who defended our country. We must redouble our efforts to rectify this situation and provide the VA with the resources they need to prevent anything like this from happening in the future.”


Braley Statement on Resignation of Secretary Shinseki

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement following the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.

"Despite the recent and ongoing issues at the VA that led to today’s resignation, Secretary Shinseki’s service to our country deserves our sincerest respect and gratitude. While I agree with today’s decision, this in no way diminishes our responsibility to fully investigate recent allegations of misconduct, punish those involved—and most importantly—to work together to solve these problems in service to America’s veterans. We all owe that to the generations of America’s veterans who continue to rely on the VA for quality care."


Loebsack Welcomes Quad Cities Honor Flight to Washington PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 30 May 2014 11:40

Veterans from WWII and Korean Wars view monuments built in their honor

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today welcomed the Quad Cities Honor Flight to the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. Loebsack presented the members of the Honor Flight with copies of the Congressional Record statement he submitted in recognition of their service, as well as a pocket Constitution. The Quad Cities Honor Flight brings World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington to visit our nation’s capital and Memorials built in their honor.

“I look forward to welcoming each Honor Flight to our nation’s capital so they can see the memorials that were built in their honor. Being able to welcome these veterans today was especially meaningful,” said Loebsack. “We cannot thank these veterans enough for their service to our nation. I was honored to present them with a copy of the statement I made for the official Congressional Record to recognize their service, as well as a pocket Constitution.”  

The Honor Flights are all fully paid for, and the veterans are typically accompanied by volunteers who donate their time to ensure that the veterans have a safe trip. This group included 92 veterans. The Quad Cities Honor Flight left from the Quad Cities Airport this morning and will return tonight.

Loebsack is an avid supporter of our veterans. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, he has worked to improve care and benefits for our servicemembers and veterans, including expanding Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits for the National Guard; expanding access to mental health care; helping our veterans find civilian jobs; and opening new Community Based Outpatient Clinics to improve access to VA services for Iowa veterans. He also co-introduced bipartisan legislation to eliminate the waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for servicemembers wounded in combat.

Lt. Governor Simon-backed military education reform overwhelmingly passes Illinois General Assembly PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Annie Thompson   
Friday, 30 May 2014 08:49
Measure to assist military students heads to governor’s desk
SPRINGFIELD – May 29, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today applauded the Illinois General Assembly for passing legislation crafted by her office to ease the transitions of military students moving in and out of Illinois schools. House Bill 3939 sponsored by Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson (D-East St. Louis) now heads to Governor Quinn for signing.
“I appreciate the legislature’s strong support of this measure that will improve educational opportunities for military students and help keep military jobs in our state,” said Simon, who chairs the state’s Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC). “I would like to thank the school administrators for their valuable input, and I commend Rep. Jackson and Sen. Bush for their work to pass this bill.  I look forward to the governor signing it into law.”
“The Metro East is home to many of our state’s military families, and I look forward to returning to my district to show military families that they have our support,” said Rep. Jackson. “Today we showed our commitment to these families that sacrifice so much.”
“I was pleased to sponsor this legislation in the Senate, and I would like to thank Lt. Governor Simon for raising this important issue,” said Sen. Bush. “It is vital that we do everything in our power to support our military families and military students, and I encourage the governor to sign HB 3939 into law quickly.”
In 2010, Illinois joined the Interstate Compact for Military Children and adopted the state’s first-ever law recognizing the unique educational challenges of military students. In the 45 other Compact states, military students enter the same grade level at their new schools, retain previously earned credit and are offered opportunities for extracurricular activities. Illinois’ law does not currently offer the same assurances.
The Simon-backed legislation brings Illinois into alignment with other Compact states, providing protections military students deserve while also preserving local control. They include:
• Grade Level: Students must be allowed to continue their enrollment at grade level in the receiving state at the time of transition; subsequent evaluation to verify placement is allowed.
• Course & Program Placement: Schools shall initially honor course and program placement for military students at the time of transition, including Advanced Placement and ESL, provided that the courses are offered and space is available; subsequent evaluation to verify placement is allowed.
• Extracurricular Activities: Schools shall facilitate the opportunity for inclusion in sports and other activities to the extent that children are qualified and space is available as determined by the school principal.
The state of Illinois is home to approximately 10,000 military students, most of whom have at least one parent on active duty at major installations in North Chicago, the Quad Cities and Metro East. They may transfer schools up to nine times between kindergarten and high school graduation, a rate three times that of their civilian peers.
Simon added that with potential federal defense spending reductions and potential base closures on the horizon, this measure positions our bases for expansions, not drastic cuts.
During a series of listening posts hosted by the Simon-chaired Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee (IMBSEDC) held last year near Scott Air Force Base, Naval Station Great Lakes and the Rock Island Arsenal, families and military leadership consistently raised the issue of improving school transition.
As chair of the IMBSEDC, Simon helps coordinate the state’s activities and communications relating to current and former military bases in Illinois. This spring, Simon has joined U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), members of Illinois’ congressional delegation and officials from the U.S. Air Force to discuss the future Scott Air Force Base in Belleville.

In Light of VA Report, Loebsack Calls on Secretary Shinseki to Resign, Department of Justice to Investigate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Joe Hand   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:15

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today announced that he is calling on Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki to immediately resign. He is also calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to begin an investigation to determine if any criminal wrongdoing occurred. Results of a preliminary report by the VA Inspector General’s Office show that the delay of care to veterans and subsequent manipulation of records is systemic throughout the VA. The report also states that the delay caused the health care of veterans to be compromised.

“The VA Inspector General’s report makes it very clear that there are scheduling problems agency-wide and not just isolated to the Phoenix health center. I have made it very clear that if these allegations were proven true that heads need to roll. I appreciate Secretary Shinseki’s prior service to our nation, but it is time for a new direction at the VA and Secretary Shinseki needs to leave for that to happen.

“As a military parent, I have been outraged by what has come to light and believe the Department of Justice needs to investigate to determine if any criminal actions took place. We owe it to our nation’s veterans to determine exactly what happened.”


After Release of Interim Report by VA Inspector General, Braley Calls for Resignation of Secretary Shinseki PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 16:04

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today released the following statement after the VA Office of Inspector General issued an interim report on alleged misconduct related to patient wait times and scheduling practices at the Veterans Health Administration.

"The preliminary report of the VA's Office of Inspector General has convinced me that it is time for Secretary Shinseki to resign. The safety and health of our veterans is the paramount responsibility of the VA—and the report’s damning findings include "systemic" problems with delayed medical care to veterans  and manipulation of records to hide those delays. It is now clear that the only way to restore confidence in the VA's ability to identify and eliminate these problems throughout the entire system is with new leadership.


“I also join House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller in calling on the Justice Department to conduct an investigation into alleged misconduct to determine if any criminal charges should be filed against those involved."


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