Schakowsky Statement on Veterans' Day
EVANSTON - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, released the following statement in recognition of Veterans' Day:
“Today we come together to honor our nation’s 17.5 million veterans. I am so proud to represent nearly 20,000 of them in Illinois’ 9th Congressional District. We honor and appreciate them and all they gave to ensure the well-being and security of our country.
"Not only do veterans deserve our respect and recognition, they also deserve to know that their nation is there for them, just like they were there for their nation. As Congress continues to work towards a budget and additional pandemic relief, we must ensure that we provide the necessary funding for VA programs and departments as well as other organizations that care for and employ our veterans. This also means ensuring that all veterans, regardless of race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, have equal access to the care and benefits they deserve at VA. We have seen that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black, Brown, and Indigenous veterans: Black and Hispanic veterans make up nearly half of all VA patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus, despite only representing about 23 percent of all VA patients. We must work together to address the underlying causes of these racial disparities within our society, including at VA.
"To that end, my colleagues in Congress and I remain committed to strengthening healthcare for all veterans, providing the education assistance we have promised, preventing sexual harassment within the military and VA, and ensuring veterans have access to high quality housing, food, and child care. We will fight to protect the programs veterans rely on, like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and SNAP. And we will fight to end the invisible consequences of war that so many veterans face by providing more resources for mental health initiatives and suicide prevention outreach, especially during this time of increased social isolation, stress, and trauma. Just as our veterans vowed to leave no soldier behind on the battlefield, we vow to leave no veteran behind when they return home.
"As a member of Congress, I will always work to make sure that our veterans are treated with dignity and respect, are properly cared for upon returning home, and can easily access the services and supports that they have earned. Today, I hope that you will take time to check in with and thank our veterans. If you are a veteran yourself or if you know a veteran who may need assistance, I hope that you will reach out to me. My office and I are eager to do whatever we can to help you.”