IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Press Release

March 26, 2004

No. 04-029


Contact:
Mokie Porter

(301) 585-4000
Ext. 146


VVA's CHOW Urges Increased VA Funding
To Cover Present and Future Responsibilities

VVA's testimony before the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs
 


(Washington, D.C.) – “The current method of funding veterans health care pits veterans against other groups and projects for a smaller and smaller piece of the shrinking discretionary budget pie.  It is not working. We know it and you know it,” said Edward Chow, Jr., National Vice President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), in testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs.

Chow pointed out that had appropriations for veterans health care “been maintained at the 1996 level of effort required by law, the VA system would have received some $10 billion more for the current fiscal year than was appropriated.” 

Chow also called for additional funding for the Vet Centers, which deal with the psychological problems of returning veterans and their families.  The Vet Centers, he noted, “will see an infusion of new clients, new veterans from the current battles being fought around the globe.”  

Heasked, too, that Congress “provide significant funding for research into the long-term and possible intergenerational effects of exposure to herbicides” and urged that Congress insure that federal agencies comply with the law regarding veterans preference in promotion and hiring.  

Noting that women now comprise some 17 percent of the Armed Forces, Chow said, “We must insure that their needs, particularly the emotional residuals of sexual trauma, are met with understanding and compassion.  As recent headlines attest, many military women never report physical assaults, let alone the trauma of sexual harassment.”  He urged Congress to enact legislation making sexual trauma counseling “a permanent facet of VA health care.” 

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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