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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Live from Capitol Hill: Senate Discusses Claims Backlog; House to Tackle Suicide

This morning on Capitol Hill both the House and Senate committees on Veterans Affairs will hear testimony on critical veterans issues.

First, at 9:30 a.m., in Russell Senate Office Building room 418, the Senate committee will host a hearing to discuss the daunting VA claims backlog. Joseph Violante from Disabled American Veterans will testify on behalf of the Independent Budget partners, including AMVETS. Lists of witnesses have not been published, but live video from the hearing is available on the committee's Web site. To view the video, Click Here.

At 10 a.m., in Cannon House Office Building room 334, the House VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will discuss VA's suicide prevention and outreach efforts. AMVETS National Deputy Legislative Director Christina Roof will be on hand for the hearing, where leaders from other veterans' groups and VA and Department of Defense officials will testify. To view a full list of witnesses and to read their prepared remarks, Click Here.

To view live video from the hearing, Click Here.

AMVETS leaders will be following both hearings closely, as the VA claims backlog is AMVETS top legislative priority for 2010, and AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin has made veterans' mental health and suicide prevention a personal priority for his year in office.

In an effort to augment VA and DoD's efforts to quell veteran suicides, Miskulin drove AMVETS' partnership with Freedom & Honor earlier this year to commission AMVETS Warrior Transition Workshops--a series of national workshops designed by combat veterans for combat veterans, offering peer support to help veterans contextualize their experiences and successfully transition back to civilian life.

Check back with American Veteran Online later for highlights from today's hearings.

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