The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

AMVETS Sends Congressional Letter to VA on Service Dogs

Since AMVETS members and their assistance dogs stormed Capitol Hill in March to raise awareness of the benefits to today's wounded veterans, AMVETS Deputy National Legislative Director Christina Roof has been working with Congressional offices, bolstering support for a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

AMVETS' letter calls for an update from VA on progress of the assistance dog benefits study commissioned in the 2010 Defense Authorization--a measure successfully spearheaded by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).

In the weeks leading up to sending the letter to Secretary Shinseki, AMVETS secured 14 signatures from a bipartisan group of legislators, including leading Congressional voices on veterans' issues, Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.), who spearheaded efforts to expand availability of PTSD treatment, and Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), who led efforts in the House to pass the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act.





The letter, which can be viewed by clicking on the images above, calls on VA to furnish Congress with a report on progress in commissioning a three-year study on the benefits of assistance dogs for today's wounded veterans.

Under the 2010 Defense Authorization, VA had 270 days to commence the study, leaving VA with a July 2010 deadline.

AMVETS leaders will continue to work with VA for an update on the assistance dog study, tracking the issue closely. AMVETS has recognized the benefits assistance animals can offer wounded veterans since partnering with non-profit Paws With A Cause to place assistance dogs with worthy wounded veterans. Today, AMVETS is the only major veterans' service organization actively addressing the issue.

As VA's study moves forward, check back regularly with American Veteran Online for updates.

(Images: Congressional letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki calling for an update to the assistance dog study for wounded veterans.)

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6 comments:

  1. Aa a Board member for the Pease Greeters ( a volenteer group of veterans and non veterans) , that support troops going over and comming home from over seas.

    I would like to comment that Canine Companions For independence is also supporting our troops by providing a service called the Wounded warrior Initiative .
    Service Dogs are matched with our veterans FREE of charge.
    In fact the puppy that I'm currently raising ( Redmond ) is the poster boy for the Wounde Warrior Initiative poster.
    I would be willing to be that Redmond has greeted more soldiers than most people have.

    The Pease Greeter non profit orginization is made up of HUNDREDS of VERY SPECIAL people from various communities.
    It is DEFINITELY worth your time to check out Pease Greeters.org and cci.org .
    Thanks for the chance to post this comment.

    Puppy raiser from Kittery Maine

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  2. There are a few really great, but smaller service dog organizations across the U.S. that provide trained dogs to veterans. Unfortunately, many do not have the means to provide each veteran with a dog FREE of charge as CCI can. This is the idea behind this initiative, to provide funding and continued support so EVERY wounded warrior that could benefit from the companionship and services of a dog, is able to receive one.

    Keep up the push!!!

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  3. I'm a CCI (Canine Companions for Independence)grad with a hearing dog who alerts me to sounds I can't hear. She's here beside me at the library. While I'm not a vet, husband, daughter, and son-in-law are.

    I've taken literature to both a large local hospital and a smaller clinic each time I go with my husband.

    We live in CA.

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    ReplyDelete