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Veterans

Since my first days in Congress, I have promised to leave no veteran behind and every day I work to fulfill that promise. Our men and women in uniform serve with honor and when they come home, they deserve the best we can offer. Having traveled around western and central Wisconsin and visited Iraq four times and Afghanistan twice, I have heard from a number of Wisconsinites currently serving in our nation’s armed forces. It has become very clear that in these challenging economic times we must do more to provide for the basic needs of our troops and veterans. It is critical that we ensure there is a robust VA medical system available so that Wisconsin’s veterans can get the quality care they earned and deserve.

Last year, serious problems with pain management practices were discovered at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic (VAMC). In March of 2014, the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded an investigation into allegations of misconduct at the Tomah VAMC. Unfortunately, they failed to notify Congress and did not post the results of their report on their website. In order make sure this never happens in the future, I led the Wisconsin delegation in introducing and passing the bipartisan Inspectors General Transparency Act of 2015. This bill increases government transparency by ensuring that all OIG reports are published on the OIG website and submitted to the head of the establishment under investigation, the individual or entity requesting the investigation, and Congress.

Additionally, one of the recommendations from the OIG investigation was to create a collaborative pain management team, similar to the tumor board model, to better coordinate pain management in very complex cases. Based on this recommendation, I introduced the bipartisan Veterans Pain Management Improvement Act, which would establish a pain management oversight board within each Veterans Integrated Service Network comprised of health care professionals, clinical patients and/or family members of a clinical patient. This legislation will give veteran patients and their families a real role in VA oversight and help ensure the VA provides better care for our veterans.

Veterans History Project

I believe we owe an enormous debt to our men and women in uniform. A great way to show our gratitude is to encourage them to share their memories and experiences. This is why I authored legislation creating the Veterans History Project, which allows veterans and their families to record their stories and preserve them for future generations. These recordings are entered into the permanent collection in the Library of Congress, where they will serve as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices these men and women made defending our country.   

For more information concerning work and views related to Veterans issues, please contact our office.

More on Veterans

May 7, 2021 Press Release

La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind is highlighting key funding priorities for fiscal year 2022. Each year, Congress considers several appropriations measures which provide funding for government operations and other activities. The appropriations cycle starts with the President’s budget proposal, and appropriations measures are typically debated and voted on through the spring and summer.    

March 10, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted to pass the American Rescue Plan to provide long-awaited relief to Wisconsinites, help schools safely reopen, ramp up vaccine deployment, and get our economy back on track. The package now heads to the President’s desk for his signature.    

February 12, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) joined Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) in reintroducing the bipartisan Free Veterans from Fees Act, legislation which would waive application fees for special use permits for veterans’ demonstrations and special events at war memorials on federal land.  

January 21, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC— Today, Rep. Ron Kind opposed exempting General Lloyd Austin from the National Security Act of 1947, which requires the head of the Defense Department to be at least seven years past active duty. Because General Austin retired in 2016, he is precluded from serving as Defense Secretary without a Congressional waiver. 

December 28, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This bipartisan legislation bolsters our national security, sets critical national defense priorities for the upcoming year, reaffirms our steadfast commitment to NATO, includes a 3% pay raise for servicemembers, provides benefits to certain veterans exposed to Agent Orange, and invests in countering cyber security threats, such as the recent hacks perpetrated by Russia.

December 22, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC —Last night, Rep. Ron Kind voted to support the year-end package that included a number of priorities he has worked on for Wisconsin families.     

December 8, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act, which will support our service members, maintain military readiness, and bolster our national security. The legislation sets important national defense priorities for the upcoming year and is critical to ensuring the national security of the United States.

November 11, 2020 Press Release

La Crosse, WI — Today, Rep. Ron Kind released the following statement honoring Wisconsin's veterans and servicemembers on Veterans Day:   

September 29, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC —Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Tom Tiffany (R-WI) introduced bipartisan legislation to rename the post office at 430 S Knowles Avenue in New Richmond as the “Captain Robert C. Harmon and Private John R. Peirson Post Office”. Supported by the full Wisconsin Congressional Delegation, this bill honors Captain Robert C. Harmon and Private John R. Peirson, brothers from New Richmond who died fighting in World War II.   

August 22, 2020 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for the bipartisan Delivering for America Act amid concerns that organizational and operational changes at the United States Postal Service (USPS) have resulted in mail delays across the country, including for seniors, veterans, and rural communities.