May 24, 2017


West Virginia is a deeply patriotic state. We have served at a higher rate than nearly every other state in all our nation’s wars. We have more Veterans, per capita, on the Vietnam Wall than any other state. Because of our proud heritage of service, we in West Virginia celebrate Memorial Day each year with profound reflection, pride and respect. This a day to pay tribute to our Fallen Service Members and say thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, to their families, and to all who served and continue to serve. If you see someone wearing the Gold Star Pin, which symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice, thank them. If you see a Veteran, thank them. If you see a Service Member, thank them. I’ll be joining you in doing the same.

Greenbrier CBOC Opening

Senator Manchin speaks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Veterans outpatient clinic in Greenbrier County on May 22.

Vietnam veterans live by the creed, "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."

Here in West Virginia, that creed is lived fully, every day. And I saw it lived more powerfully than in our successful fight to get a new outpatient health clinic for veterans in Greenbrier County.

Three years ago, the veterans outpatient clinic in Maxwelton was permanently shut down, leaving a real void in this area. Not having a clinic was simply unacceptable to me and to our local veterans, so we got to work.

Together with the Vietnam Veterans of Greenbrier County – especially Jim Smith and Jim Creasman – we held town halls and meetings. We sent countless emails. We had conference calls with people at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

We talked to anyone who would listen – including the Secretary of the VA, Bob McDonald, whom I invited and brought to Greenbrier County two years ago to underscore the great need for this clinic.

On Monday, we celebrated the payoff of all that hard work – with the doors officially opening at the new Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) for Veterans in Ronceverte.

After years with a temporary CBOC, veterans in the region now have permanent access to outpatient services including primary care, mental health, X-rays, telehealth, a laboratory, and a dedicated clinic for women. Veterans can seek these services at the new location – 228 Shamrock Lane in Ronceverte – from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

One of my biggest honors as West Virginia’s United States Senator is serving on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. To best serve in this capacity, I have formed a statewide Veterans Advisory Group that provides direct feedback on legislation and issues facing the veterans community.

With input from this group, right now in Washington, I am working on legislation to name the Huntington VA Medical Center after our Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams. I’m working on the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2017. I’m a proud forming member of the Congressional Veterans Jobs Caucus, which is focused on decreasing the unemployment rate among our nation’s Veterans.

And I’ve been so proud to champion legislative successes for our veterans – including the HIRE Vets Act, which we passed this year; legislation that allows all Purple Heart awardees to participate in the G.I. Education Enhancement Program; a bill that improves services for our homeless veterans; and legislation that removes regulations on information sharing so veterans have great care no matter where they receive treatment.

The men and women who fought for all of us deserve nothing less than unending support.

Whether it’s pushing for policies that matter to veterans, getting this CBOC in Greenbrier County, helping veterans with their health care benefits or securing their long-overdue military medals, our veterans have always been there for us – and for each other – and I will always be there for them.


Petition to Rename the Huntington VA after Woody Williams

Senator Manchin with Woody Williams in 2014. Photo credit: Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Last week, I petitioned to rename the Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center after Hershel "Woody" Williams. Woody is West Virginia’s only living Medal of Honor recipient.

Woody has dedicated his life to public service, and he has represented the state of West Virginia with the utmost honor and distinction. After retiring from the Marine Corps, Woody continued in public service at the Veterans Affairs Administration for 35 years. Even today, at the age of 93, Woody travels around the country to advocate for Veterans and their families, to include those who have given the most, Gold Star Families. It is only fitting that a West Virginia VA Medical Center be named to honor the service and sacrifice of Medal of Honor recipient and West Virginia icon, Woody Williams. I want to say to Woody how much I appreciate his friendship, his steadfast loyalty to his fellow Veterans, his selflessness, and his diligence in advocating for Veterans and their families.

Veterans Recruitment Bill

I proudly applaud the recent passage of the American Law Enforcement Heroes Act, bipartisan legislation to help state and local law enforcement hire veterans onto their forces.The legislation will prioritize the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) funding of law enforcement agencies that use the funding to hire military Veterans. 

This legislation not only helps our Veterans find meaningful employment, it also benefits law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Through grant funding, the COPS program encourages state and local law enforcement agencies to hire Veterans. Finding meaningful job opportunities after serving in the military is crucial to successfully transitioning back into civilian life.

The legislation is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, Major County Sheriffs of America, Major Cities Chiefs Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association, National Association of Police Organizations and Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Veterans Homeless Bill

This month, I introduced the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2017. This legislation would build on existing homeless veterans programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs by investing in established programs that are proven to be effective and removing any residual barriers to housing for Veterans.

West Virginia’s Veterans and their families have made unimaginable sacrifices to keep us safe, and when these men and women return home they deserve the best care. The Homeless Veterans Prevention Act bill expands on existing VA partnerships to provide West Virginia’s Veterans with housing, health care access and legal services to prevent and end homelessness. It’s our responsibility to ensure every Veteran has access to these resources.

Key Points for the Homeless Veterans Prevention Act of 2017:

  • Keeps Veteran families together by allowing the VA to house the children of homeless Veterans in transitional housing programs.
  • Requires the VA to enter into partnerships with public and private entities to provide legal services for homeless Veterans and Veterans at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Provides VA with the authority to provide dental care to homeless Veterans.
  • Extends and increases the amount of money available for supportive services to very low-income Veteran families in permanent housing.


 To contact me via email, please click here.  To learn more, call my office Toll Free at (855) 275-5737 or find me on social media.


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