Veterans and their families have made immeasurable sacrifices in defense of our nation.  We must ensure that veterans have access to topnotch healthcare and can quickly and easily access other benefits such as disability compensation through the Veterans Administration.  I will continue to work with the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and local communities to find ways to improve access to VA services in the South Texas area.  Specifically, I worked to add bus stops at the VA clinic in Harlingen and to establish the Cameron County Veterans Court with Judge David Sanchez. 

Over the past year it has been a privilege to recognize, talk with, and listen to the stories of hundreds of Vietnam Veterans during multiple Vietnam Pinning Ceremonies across the district.  It is important that we support our veterans within our communities, and I look forward to holding other events to recognize those within our district that have sacrificed to protect our nation.

To further help the veterans in my district, my office holds annual Congressional Veteran Summits that focus on employment, health care, and veteran’s resources. You can find upcoming veteran events by following my Facebook page.

Specific Legislation:

Veteran Deportation Prevention and Reform Act (HR 4890) – No Veteran of the US Armed Services who has served honorably should be susceptible to deportation.

Reduce Unemployment for Veterans of All Ages Act (HR 444) – The VA Vocational Rehabilitation Education program provides valuable education to Veterans looking for a new job.  The program should be available to Veterans regardless of when they separated.

Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (HR 299) – This bill extends the presumption of Agent Orange exposure to veterans who served offshore of Vietnam or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone

Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act (HR 333) – This bill authorizes veterans with service-connected disability of less that 50% to concurrently receive both retirement pay and disability compensation and makes qualified retirees with less that 20 years of service eligible for concurrent receipt.  

Violence Against Women Veterans Act (HR 6869) – This bill requires the Department of Veteran Affairs to improve and expand its services to veterans that have been subjected to domestic violence or sexual assault.