Unsung heroes return to Washington, echo call for equity in services for all severely disabled veterans
What: DAV (Disabled American Veterans) continues to advocate for expanded caregiver benefits for ill and injured veterans of all eras at House Veterans’ Affairs full committee hearing. Currently, the benefit is only provided to injured post-9/11 veterans.
When: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.
Where: 334 Cannon House Office Building
Why: Last year, DAV released a report on caregivers, “America’s Unsung Heroes” because much of the American public is not aware of the dedication and sacrifices caregivers make supporting our nation’s heroes. Most caregivers go unrecognized and their needs unmet. Based on current law, VA is prohibited from providing comprehensive support for caregivers of veterans severely disabled before September 11, 2001. Many of them are now aging and their caregivers’ ability to continue in their role is compromised—access to comprehensive assistance would help sustain their efforts. Additionally, supporting family caregivers can be less costly to the federal government than treating veterans through institution-based options.
Who: Deputy National Legislative Director Adrian Atizado will testify on behalf of DAV regarding the program, potential improvements and on current legislation that would authorize its expansion. Two DAV members and their spouses/caregivers will also be onsite to show their support, and are willing to talk to media regarding what caregiver benefits would mean to them personally.
*Dennis and Donna Joyner – Dennis became a triple amputee as the result of a land mine explosion in Vietnam; Donna took on the role of caregiver when he was injured in 1969.
*Dave and Yvonne Riley – Dave is a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer and quadruple amputee; Yvonne has been his caregiver since he was injured in 1997.
“Perhaps most importantly, caregivers allow so many injured and ill veterans to remain in their homes with family,” said Riley. “I am able to get out of bed every morning and rest comfortably at night because of her. Yvonne is my caregiver—one of America’s unsung heroes who takes care of the millions of disabled veterans living in America. She is why I am urging Congress to extend the VA’s comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to all disabled veterans of all eras.”
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their families and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than one million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932.