Boozman Bulletin

One of the highlights of this time of year is meeting with Arkansas members of Veteran Service Organizations to learn about their priorities for Congress and how we can improve services and benefits for those who have been called to serve in our nation’s uniform.
This week, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Department of Arkansas visited during the organization’s legislative conference. I’m proud to support their goals of reducing veteran suicide, overseeing implementation of the PACT Act and bolstering retention and recruitment of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical professionals.

Image                    VFW Department of Arkansas members visited this week.
This week, I was honored to receive the VFW’s 2023 Congressional Award. I’m proud to advocate on behalf of our nation’s veterans and their families and strengthen benefits and services to better support their needs. I look forward to continuing my commitment and working with the VFW to fulfill the promise we made to those who have served in our Armed Forces defending our nation.
 Image                                 VFW’s 2023 Congressional Award ceremony
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Department of Arkansas members discussed our shared priorities to expand the VA’s capacity to deliver high quality health care. In a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing with DAV leadership last week, they called for improved retention and recruitment of VA health professionals and advocated for the VA CAREERS Act, a bill I’ve championed. This is a crucial piece of legislation for reducing vacancies and staffing shortages in the VA which continues to be at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting and retaining the most talented medical professionals across the country, especially in rural areas.
Last month the committee passed this bill so there is positive momentum to get it signed into law.
 Image            I appreciate meeting with Arkansas American Legion members.
Arkansan Sharri Briley and other members of Gold Star Wives of America recently visited Capitol Hill. Briley shared her support for the Caring for Survivors Act of 2023, legislation that will deliver critical economic support to families who find themselves in the tragic situation of carrying on after their servicemember dies.
PACT Act Town Hall
The VA has screened more than one million veterans for exposure to toxins since the PACT Act was signed into law last August.
The PACT Act delivers benefits and care to veterans and their families living with illnesses as a result of military toxic exposure. I was proud to vote in support of this legislation at every opportunity.
If you believe you or a family member qualifies for toxic exposure screening or needs help filing a claim, VA personnel will be available at the PACT Act Open House hosted by the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in North Little Rock on March 20. 

Supporting Military Spouses

Serving in our nation’s uniform is a family affair. Servicemembers’ spouses are a critical piece of the support system underpinning America’s military and they deserve abundant access to meaningful career opportunities. 
Frequent moves following new military assignments often stall military spouses’ upward career progression and force them to find new jobs. This hurts families and military readiness. That’s why I’m leading legislation to incentivize businesses to hire military spouses. 
The Military Spouse Hiring Act encourages employers to hire these skilled and resilient men and women to enhance their own organizations while also strengthening our national defense.
Read more about the legislation in Stars and Stripes.
Enhancing Resources for Caregivers
Many former members of our Armed Forces require additional support as a result of their service and rely on family to help meet basic needs. We can better support them as they provide this essential assistance, so I’ve introduced legislation to enhance VA programs for disabled veterans and their children who often take on caregiving roles.
The Helping Heroes Act of 2023 recognizes the work done by the approximately 2.3 million children under the age of 18 living in a household with a disabled veteran and seeks to provide critical support and assistance to these children in accessing local, state and federal resources. 
This legislation is an investment in the families of our veterans. Expanding the VA’s resources to better support the education, health and other needs of young caregivers is a critical part of our commitment to those who have served and sacrificed for our country and their loved ones.
Safeguarding Veterans Filing Benefit ClaimsImage
Veterans deserve to have trusted and reliable advocates working on their behalf while filing a disability claim, which is why we must hold accountable those aiming to make a profit off their service.
That’s why I teamed up with my colleagues to introduce the Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (GUARD) VA Benefits Act which would reinstate criminal penalties for unaccredited claim representatives who charge unauthorized fees while helping file a disability claim. This legislation will ensure our veterans are no longer taken advantage of by bad actors. 
Get Connected
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