FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2007
Kagen Hears From Vets at V.A. Clinics Afghanistan & Iraq Vets a Priority
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. visited the Veterans Administration clinics in Appleton and Green Bay Friday for a first hand look at the health care services and to meet with veterans and listen to their concerns.
Congressman Kagen and his wife, Gayle, President of the bipartisan Congressional Freshman Spouses Association, are visiting military and Veterans Administration facilities as part of their efforts to guarantee that veterans have all they need to make a full and complete recovery from injuries they may have experienced while serving in harm’s way. Gayle and a bipartisan group of freshman spouses visited Walter Reed Army Hospital last month.
Glen W. Grippen, Director of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, Dr. Anthony Peterson and Andy Hendrickson, RN, joined Congressman Kagen at the clinics and briefed him on Veterans Administration initiatives to serve members of the armed forces returning from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The law requires the Veterans Administration to provide combat veterans cost-free care for conditions potentially related to their combat service for up to two years following their discharge or release from active duty.
“Our veterans have earned the right to the health care they need and I will fight to make sure they get what they earned,” Kagen said. Concerning the Administration’s attempt to raise veterans’ co-pays, Kagen added “Veterans should not be asked to again pay for what they’ve already earned.”
“Funding for veterans’ health care should be automatic,” said Kagen. “We know what they need and veterans shouldn’t have to fight every year for what they’ve already earned.”
World War II Navy veteran Mark Alkire is pleased with the service he receives at the Appleton clinic. “It’s much easier to access this clinic than the VA Hospital in Milwaukee,” Alkire said. “They provide very outstanding services – they saved my life.”
Milwaukee VA Director Grippen wants veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom to know that medical services are available and suggests they call the clinics. “We’ve made serving veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq a priority. We hope these veterans will take advantage of the benefits they’ve earned,” said Grippen.
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