House and Senate negotiators late Monday approved a compromise bill to spend about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs. Vermont’s junior U.S. Senator was a key part of the negotiations.
Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, extolled the innovative programs of the White River Junction VA Medical Center during a press conference in Burlington on Monday.
When soldiers return from overseas tours to places like Afghanistan and Iraq, many must deal with medical or psychological issues. Ten years after the beginning of the war in Iraq, veterans are facing increasing challenges at home. Two veterans’ medical centers are serving upstate New York and Vermont with a variety of services.
The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is making progress in reducing the number of homeless veterans in the country. But the critical need was evident at an event Friday in Springfield Massachusetts. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.
Hundreds of veterans looking for help filed into a church social hall for an opportunity to speak with representatives from more than 60 agencies and programs, including health care providers, counseling services, and housing specialists. There were free meals and each could leave with a bag of clothes.