A grateful nation must support those who are willing to risk their lives for our safety and freedom. Chris honors those who serve by working hard to provide them with quality health care, education benefits, affordable housing, and opportunities to start businesses.
There are over 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces today. As a group they are facing a series of challenges that we, as a nation, must work harder to address. Eleven percent of all homeless Americans are veterans. PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury affects one out of every three Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. And too many disabled veterans continue to wait months and years to receive the benefit they were promised and have earned.
Our nation must keep the promises it has made to its veterans with high-quality health care and access to jobs and housing. That requires continued reform of the VA to cut down on lengthy wait times to see a doctor and reduce the backlog. Chris authored a budget that included necessary funding to increase access to health care services, including mental health services like treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The budget would also provide specialized care for women veterans. Finally, it would provide necessary resources for the VA Inspector General to make sure that the VA provides promised services to our nation’s veterans.
Chris has already worked to help increase access to care in Maryland, working with leadership at the VA to secure a VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinic to serve thousands of veterans who now must spend far too much time to reach the care they need. Chris also helped obtain tens of millions of dollars from the Department of Defense to address traffic congestion around the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda to make sure the campus is accessible to our wounded warriors. He continues to fight for increased resources for research into PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury. Chris received the George “Buck” Gillespie Congressional Award from the Blinded American Veteran Foundation for his steadfast commitment to our nation’s veterans.
It is unacceptable for any veteran to struggle to find a home or a job, which is why Chris is committed to expanding housing services and economic opportunities. He has helped Maryland obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in housing vouchers to give homeless veterans a place to call home, and was recognized for his efforts by Bethesda Cares, a community organization working to end homelessness. He was a leading supporter of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 to extend G.I. bill benefits to veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and allow them to transfer benefits to family members. Chris has also worked with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to secure $300,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide technical training to veteran-owned businesses seeking federal procurement opportunities. Chris won an Inaugural VIP Champion Award from the Veteran Institute for Procurement for his efforts to increase opportunities for veterans.