Our nation has an obligation to provide the men and women who have served our country in uniform and their families with the benefits and services that they have earned. These servicemembers, military families, retirees, and veterans sacrificed much to defend our freedoms. While I recognize that there are challenges that we face in living up to this obligation, we have made significant progress to improve the access and availability of care and benefits for our veterans. There is still much work that remains, and I continue to advocate for better services for our veterans.
As Guam's representative in Congress, I have worked with the Department of Veterans Affairs and my colleagues in Congress to improve the quality of services available to veterans on Guam. I worked to provide funding for the construction of a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic that is not within DoD base installations to provide Guam veterans and their families with easier access to medical care. The CBOC addressed challenges that had long plagued Guam's veterans in obtaining access to military bases. I continue to work to enhance the CBOC, and I am currently working with the VA to increase the number of full-time physicians and other professional staff assigned to the CBOC so that our veterans are able to have consistent, quality care. I am also working with the VA to provide funding to expand the CBOC to meet current demands. Architecture and Engineering funding for this project has been identified in the FY16 appropriations bill with construction funding anticipated in FY17.
I have also worked to ensure that Guam was included in the Veterans Choice Program, which is an opportunity to help veterans receive the care that they need if they are not able to obtain treatment at VA facilities. The program enables veterans to obtain care at a non-VA facility if they must wait more than 30 days for an appointment or if they face an unusual or excessive burden in accessing VA care. The Choice Program fully applies to Guam and all other U.S. territories, and our veterans are eligible to receive the same benefits as any veteran living in the 50 states.
I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and local leaders to do all we can to meet the needs of our veterans. I will continue to advocate for to improved care, benefits and services our veterans receive. I stand ready to help should veterans or their family members need any help with a specific case pending before the VA or any other federal agency. For more information concerning work and views related to Veterans issues, please contact our office.
More on Veterans
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement on the passage of H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017. H.R. 3218 is a comprehensive package that seeks to reform and improve the Post 9/11 GI Bill to increase access to critical resources for our men and women in uniform and their families.
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today met with Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. David Shulkin and the Democratic Women’s Working Group to discuss issues facing veterans. She raised with him the unique challenges that veterans on Guam have when accessing care. The meeting was a unique opportunity to educate the new Secretary about current challenges regarding veteran care on Guam.
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today wrote to the U.S. Air Force to request information on claims that Agent Orange was actively used to clear vegetation at Andersen Air Force Base.
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the House Committee on Appropriations approved the fiscal year 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill by voice vote. The bill and accompanying report include provisions supported by Congresswoman Bordallo to continue progress on the realignment of Marines from Okinawa to Guam and address concerns of local veterans with health care they receive on islands.
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) conduct an independent review of the Guam Community-Based Outpatient Clinic and the services it provides to veterans on Guam. She made this request consistent with the Guam Legislature’s resolution 111-33 that sought an investigation into the Guam CBOC.
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement in commemorating of Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day, our country honors and celebrates the men and women in uniform who have dedicated their lives to serve our nation. We reflect on the sacrifices that our veterans and their families have made so that we may all live safer lives and enjoy the freedoms we have today. We also renew our commitment to working on behalf of our veterans so that they and their families have the care and support they need when they return home.
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded WestCare Pacific Islands, Inc. $700,000 for programs to prevent and end homelessness among Guam’s veteran population. The award was provided through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program, which supports outreach, case management and other flexible assistance to prevent Veteran homelessness or rapidly re-house Veterans who become homeless.
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today released the following information regarding the Veterans Choice Program. TriWest Healthcare Alliance experienced difficulties in fully implementing the Veterans Choice Program on Guam and other U.S. Territories. Local veterans who contacted TriWest before June 1, 2015 may have been provided inaccurate information regarding the Veterans Choice Program.
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that Colonel Diron Cruz, USA (ret.), has been selected to chair the Congresswoman’s Veterans Advisory Council (VAC). VAC members recently elected COL Cruz and Command Sergeant Major Ben Palacios, USA (ret.) to serve as chair and vice chair, respectively. The VAC recently met with Congresswoman Bordallo on Guam and discussed several issues important to Guam’s veterans, including progress being made at the Community Based Outpatient Clinic and concerns over veterans’ benefits processing.
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded $700,000 to WestCare Pacific Islands, Inc. to help combat veteran homelessness on Guam. The grant was awarded through the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.