Veterans & Troops
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Protecting our veterans and troops
Exposing Arlington National Cemetery scandal
Claire used her position as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight to take the lead on investigating gross mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery. To ensure the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country get the respect and honor they deserve, Claire:
- Brought attention to the mismanagement of Arlington during a hearing in 2010 that revealed some of our nation's fallen had been buried in incorrect plots with mislabeled headstones; and,
- Passed legislation that held the Army accountable to identify and fix any errors in the burial records at Arlington National Cemetery.
Increasing educational and job opportunities for veterans
America's veterans fought to protect our freedoms overseas, and Claire believes they shouldn't have to fight for a job after they come home.
Claire was a founding member of the Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus and won passage of The VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was designed to boost the number of jobs available for our nation's veterans. Claire also worked with her colleagues in the Senate to pass the Post 9/11 GI Bill, modeled after the GI Bill that benefitted her father. These bills:
- Awarded tax credits to employers who hire veterans;
- Provided job training assistance to veterans, helping them translate their military experience into skills sought by civilian employers; and,
- Gave financial assistance to veterans who served in the military after September 11, 2001, to help pay for college or vocational training.
Looking after our Soldiers' and veterans' mental health
Ever since she arrived in the U.S. Senate, Claire has made improving the quality and availability of mental healthcare for troops returning from the fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan a top priority. She has:
- Removed unnecessary legal barriers that previously limited the availability of mental health services for veterans;
- Addressed the dramatic increase in drug and alcohol-related arrests among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan by reforming substance abuse treatment programs in the military; and,
- Forced the Department of Defense to establish a suicide prevention program for Reservists and National Guard members.
Helping veterans in rural Missouri get access to health care they deserve
After hearing from veterans in rural Missouri about how hard it had become to pay for the gas they use traveling to and from their appointments at VA hospitals, Claire introduced a bill that:
- Eased the financial burden of traveling to receive medical attention for veterans by increasing the mileage reimbursement rate for veterans traveling to VA facilities from 28.5 cents/mile to 41.5 cents/mile permanently.
Listening to Missouri's veterans
Claire knows that the first step giving America's veterans the care they need is understanding specifically what kind of care they need. That's why Claire launched the Veterans Customer Satisfaction Program to improve veterans' experiences at VA medical centers by requesting their input and feedback to these critically important health care services. This program has:
- Allowed veterans to provide confidential feedback to improve care and customer service at Missouri's VA hospitals in St. Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia.