Date: November 11, 2013
Lani Poblete, PVA at 202-416-7667
Paralyzed Veterans of America Urges Congressional Leaders to Pass Advance Appropriations for all VA Services
Washington, DC—Paralyzed Veterans of America’s National President, Bill Lawson, a U.S. Army veteran offers the following message on Veterans Day:
On Veterans Day and every day, the best way we can honor veterans is to keep our nation’s promise to them, just as Abraham Lincoln said—“to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.”
The recent government shutdown was thankfully stopped short of an even bigger disaster by some limited advance appropriations which kept VA hospitals mostly open and which allowed, barely, most VA benefits payments to be made. But our veterans put on the uniform with a total promise of all the tools in the benefits arsenal—not some limited-time offer. And for hundreds of thousands of veterans with disabilities, the government shutdown we just endured was not just about income—it's about outcomes. It was about promises made and promises broken. We veterans kept our part of the deal.
Congress must now keep all its promises to veterans. Congress must meet the basic necessities of life for all of the women and men who gave just short of their lives for us all. Congress can and must authorize advance appropriations for all veterans programs.
For those of us veterans with severe disabilities, living without promised programs comes with extra costs. For us, another impasse over the budget does not just mean benefits delayed. It means benefits denied. Our government’s failure to keep its promises had – and could have once again, real and immediate impacts to our veterans that harm their health and their basic dignity.
Short-term government “solutions” are not an answer. Budgetary actions that incrementally threaten essential life services every 90 days are not what we promised our veterans. Added anxiety, the sleepless nights of caregivers, the despair of close friends are cumulative — and painful.
That’s not how we should honor service.
Veterans, with or without disabilities, earned a better outcome. We urge members of Congress to move now to authorize advance appropriations for all that you’ve promised our veterans.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America:
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a national nonprofit was founded by a group of seriously injured American heroes from the “Greatest Generation” of World War II. They created a nonprofit organization to meet the challenges that they faced back in the 1940s—from a medical community not ready to treat them to an inaccessible world. For more than 67 years, Paralyzed Veterans’ national office and its 34 chapters across the nation have been making America a better place for all veterans and people with disabilities. (www.pva.org)